Graduates empower themselves through An Cosán’s adult community education programmes

An Cosán graduates

The mission of An Cosán, Ireland’s largest community education provider, which is based in Jobstown, Tallaght, is to empower through education. But it is not An Cosán that empowers learners; they empower themselves. That was the message delivered by An Cosán’s Deputy CEO, Anne Genockey, at An Cosán’s Further Education Awards Ceremony in The Russell Centre, Tallaght recently, when 15 adult learners graduated from QQI Level 5 and 6 programmes. These included Community Development, Community Care, Business Administration with Digital Skills, and Early Childhood Care and Education. The graduates were joined for the celebration by their proud tutors and families as well as Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Rethink Ireland.

Addressing the graduates, Ms Genockey said, “Today is a celebration of both your journey and your achievements because you stuck with it in spite of all of the challenges. You should be really proud of yourselves.” Ms Genockey continued, “The team at An Cosán are passionate about community education and really understand what it takes to support learners to empower themselves. We exist to meet the needs of our learners. Those needs vary from learner to learner, but we do our best to provide the most important and essential wraparound supports that each of our learners may need. That might mean providing early years’ care to little ones while their parents learn, or learning support to those struggling with assignments, or perhaps, counselling, coaching, and mentoring for both life assignments and programme assignments.”

Expressing gratitude to Dublin Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board and Rethink Ireland for continuing to support community education programmes at An Cosán, Ms Genockey said, “Their partnerships have helped us provide the supports required to run these programmes successfully. Thanks to their input, we have learned and developed our skills alongside our graduates.”

Korina Koler, who graduated from An Cosán’s Business Administration with Digital Skills programme and now holds the prestigious job of PA to Rethink Ireland CEO Deirdre Mortell, delivered a speech during the ceremony. She highlighted the transformative power of education to shape a better society and better tomorrow. “An Cosán stands as a beacon of empowerment as it welcomes and employs remarkable women and like-minded men who are all dedicated to making a difference,” she said. “The impact of their work extends beyond just you and me. Their work ripples through communities and that work creates a more equitable and just society.”

Addressing the graduates, Korina said, “You are not just recipients of academic knowledge; you are all now agents of change. Please remember the responsibility that comes with this. Be active citizens, and pay forward the opportunities that you have received, and contribute to the creation of a society where everyone can flourish and prosper. Each one of you is a significant part of this transformative process, and together we can build a future not just for us, but for others too.”

Virginia Kinsella, who graduated with a Level 6 Award in Early Childhood Care and Education, spoke during the ceremony about how An Cosán had impacted not only her life, but that of her siblings and of her mother, Lily Ward, who was one of An Cosán’s first learners over 30 years ago and is now Senior Administrator in the organisation.

Virginia, who has secured a job as a Special Needs Assistant since completing her course, said, “I am so thankful to An Cosán for giving me this opportunity, which has given me back my identity, my confidence in myself and in what I can achieve, if I work hard for it. I love being able to contribute to the family finances again and this has changed so much for our family. I really got so much out of the course, but so did my family.”

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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