About Us

What we do

Youthreach is an education, training, and work programme for early school leavers aged 15-20 years of age. It offers support to young people to help them identify what they would like to do in adult life and allows them to gain a certificate. It operates on a full time basis and takes in new students all year round. There are 110 Youthreach centres around the country.



The centre became operational in August 1992,

the co-ordinator was presented with a set of keys and a directive from the CEO Joe Langan (RIP) to prepare the old Vocational School in Ballina to become a 25 place Youthreach Centre.

The Centre was officially opened by President Mary Robinson in December 1992. Staff were quickly recruited to provide a balanced and challenging curriculum, which has grown over the years adapting to the needs and demands of our learners.

The following time line gives only a brief chronological peek at some of the events that have taken place over the past 30 years, a miniscule proportion of the work we have done and continue to do – much better to see the photo montages on the walls, the banners and learners work, these show a much truer representation!

Highlights Include:

  • Our boys winning 3 All Ireland 5 aside titles (1999, 2003,2004)
  • Our girls winning 2 All Ireland 5 aside titles (2017, 2019)
  • Overseas tours to Rome, Paris and Barcelona
  • Residential Visits to the Achill Outdoor Education Centre
  • Numerous Music Concerts – our First Annual Christmas Concert was in 1996
  • Regular visits to Theatres in Dublin, Sligo and Galway
  • Raising money for Local and National Charities

You really should pop in and sample it all!!


Fiona Foody

Fiona started working in Youthreach Ballina in January 2020 as office Administrator.
People describe me as “helpful, friendly and organised”. My strengths with people are helping whenever I can, both at work and in volunteering in the community. I have developed many administrative skills over the years, which makes a great fit for Youthreach with both staff and learners.

Donal O’Brien

BA in Training & Education,
Coded PIPE, Welder (ASME IX) Retained Fire Fighter
Subjects taught include – LCA Engineering and JC Engineering

Claire O’Boyle

Bachelor of Design (Hons)
H Dip Education
H Dip Business
Cert in Instruction & Leadership
Subjects taught include – Visual Art, Craft & Design, Vocational Prep, Guidance and Gaeilge

Paul Large

BA (Hons) Economics
PGCE Physical Education
I became Co-ordinator in April 1992 and have spent over half my life in the job. I have had some wonderful moments and look forward to many more.

Martin Kelly

BA Hons
Subjects Taught-
Junior Cert: Materials technology Wood
Technical Graphics
Leaving Cert Applied: Graphics and Construction Studies

Catherine Mulderrig

Degree in Business
H-Dip in Education
Subjects taught – Communication Technology
Role within Centre – Computer Teacher

Natasha Walshe

BA, H Dip in Education
Higher Diploma in Community Youth Development
Subjects taught include – Maths, Social Education and SPHE

Angela Large

BA Education
Subjects taught include – Literacy & Numeracy, Textiles & Crafts

Patrick Ryder

H Dip (Hons) in Spanish & Geography
Subjects taught – Spanish and Geography
Role within centre – Spanish Teacher

Grainne Kelly

BA, H Dip (ED)
Subjects taught include – English, Social Education & Communications.

Dennis McCalmont

BA Training & Education
Subjects Taught include – Music
Role within Centre – Music teacher

Allison Leneghan

Canteen Manager

Niall Murphy

Hairdressing Teacher

Mary O’Connell
Anne Maria Scanlon

B E’d Home Economics and Religious Education
Subjects taught includeLCA Hotel and Catering and Junior Cert Home Economics

Our Activities

Many activities take place at Youthreach Ballina outside of the classroom.

They are an integral part of our approach to the holistic development of our learners and include sporting, artistic, musical, cultural, and social and leisure activities.

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