Working life: Phil Ni Sheaghdha, general secretary, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation

Phil Ni Sheaghdha, general secretary, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

Working life: Phil Ni Sheaghdha, general secretary, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation


I’ve an early start as I live in Naas and work in Dublin city centre. My children — at Leaving Cert and university level — get themselves out. I take the train to Heuston and walk to the office on North Brunswick St.


My first task is to address correspondence from the previous evening, before a meeting in respect of hospital overcrowding. I started in this role on January 1, so I’d a busy first week as overcrowding was particularly acute. Collating trolley figures occupies the first few hours every morning.


I meet with the architect, quantity surveyor and our head of professional development to discuss the Richmond re-development project. We bought the Richmond Building next door to our current head office in 2014, and we work to very tight deadlines as it is due to open soon. It will provide us with an education and event centre that will allow us greatly expand the range of courses we provide.


Our executive council meets over two days on a monthly basis so I’ve constant prep work in relation to that. I’m also in daily contact with our president.

Lunch is hit and miss.


Our annual delegate conference takes place in May so I’m in regular contact with our branches to ensure motions come in on time. The branches hold their own AGMs prior to the conference because they elect the delegates and effectively set the agenda. I aim to attend three AGMs a week over the coming weeks.


I’ve some media work to do. As a native of the West Kerry Gaeltacht, I’m fluent in Irish so I have interviews in English and Irish.


When training is under way for our nurse representatives or meetings of members are held, I usually attend to provide national updates of INMO work. Once a month, I attend a meeting of the national executive of ICTU, of which I’m a member. The INMO is also affiliated to the International Council of Nurses. Their workforce forum allows us compare our nurses’ working conditions with conditions elsewhere.


Currently, evenings are busy with AGMs. I enjoy hillwalking, reading and travel

during downtime. I’m a keen promoter of the Irish language.

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