Dr Jerry O'Neill

Adult and Community Education


Maynooth University School of Education
(01) 708 3683


I returned to education as a mature student in the mid-1990s and, although I subsequently qualified as a secondary school teacher, I have worked with adults in further, community and higher education ever since.  I have a particular interest in educator development across the career span that is collaborative, creative and critically reflective with a focus on personal and socially transformative ends.  I am also very interested in working to diversify access routes into, through and beyond universities.   Along with a range of other duties and interests across the department, I am currently co-coordinator of the Higher Diploma in Further Education– a Teaching Council-accredited post-graduate teacher educator programme for the field of adult, community and further education. 

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2024 O'Neill, J. (2024) 'Walking new horizons for critically reflexive pedagogy and research' In: Biographical Research and New Social Architecture: Methodological Advances and Reflections during and after COVID-19. Bristol : Policy Press.
2023 Burns, G; Byrne, L; O'Neill, J. (2023) '‘Becoming and Transforming’: The role of critical and diverse communities of practice in challenging and transforming teacher education through Maynooth University’s Turn to Teaching project' In: Ireland's Yearbook of Education 2022. Dublin : Education Matters. [Link]
2022 Burns, G., Colum, M., O'Neill, J. (2022) 'No One Sees a Traveller at the Top of the Class' In: Diversifying the Teaching Profession: Dimensions, Dilemmas, and Directions for the Future. London : Routledge.
2020 O'Neill, J. & Finnegan, F. (2020) 'Spalpeens on the Isle of Wonders: Reflections on work, power and collective resistance in Irish Further Education' In: Caliban’s Dance: FE after the Tempest. London : UCL/IOE Press and Trentham Books.
2020 McCormack, D., O’Neill, J., Ryan, M., and Walsh, T. (2020) 'Autoethnography in, and as, adult education: eavesdropping on a conversation' In: Doing Critical and Creative Research. Leiden : Brill | Sense. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004420755_007
2014 O'Neill, J. (2014) 'In search of a clearing: practitioner reflections on FET' In: Further Education and Training: History, Politics and Practice. Maynooth University : MACE.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2022 Fitzsimons, Camilla; Henry, Seán; O'Neill, Jerry (2022) 'Precarity and the pandemic: an inquiry into the impact of Covid19 on the working lives of non-permanent educators in post-compulsory education'. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, :622-642.
2020 O’Neill J.; Fitzsimons C. (2020) 'Precarious professionality: graduate outcomes and experiences from an Initial Teacher (Further) Education programme in Ireland'. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 25 (1):1-22. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2019 Merrill, B., Finnegan, F., O'Neill, J. & Revers, S. (2019) '‘When it comes to what employers are looking for, I don’t think I’m it for a lot of them’: class and capitals in, and after, higher education'. Studies in Higher Education, 45 (1):1-13. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2019.1570492 [Full-Text]
2019 Finnegan, F., Valadas, S., O’Neill, J., Fragoso, A., & Paulos, L. (2019) 'The search for security in precarious times: non-traditional graduates perspectives on higher education and employment'. International Journal of Lifelong Education, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2017 O'Neill, J. & Cullinane, S. (2017) 'Holding the line: towards a critical professional development for community education tutors'. The Adult Learner, :113-129. [Link] [Full-Text]

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2022 Burns, Gareth; O'Neill, Jerry (2022) Widening participation in teacher education Reflections from an adult education-led project in Ireland Universidade do Algarve, .
2021 Dolan, Rose; O'Neill, Séamie; Stokes, Tríona; Ní Chleirigh, Laoise; O'Neill, Jerry (2021) ATEE Annual Conference: (Re)imagining & Rethinking Teacher Education Establishing a virtual Community of Practice for teacher educators’ professional development: A collaborative self-study University of Warsaw (online), .
2021 Burns, Gareth; O'Neill, Jerry (2021) Irish Narrative Inquiry Conference Narrative emergence in the work of a Widening Participation project Dublin City University [online], .
2021 O'Neill, M; Lawson, K; O'Neill, J (2021) Fire Starter Festival Walking our landscapes online (Scotland), .
2020 O'Neill, Jerry (2020) ESA Webinar: Biographical work in a time of social distancing: interview(s), analysis, interpretation Walking It ESA Research Network 03 'Biographical Perspectives on European Societies', .
2020 O'Neill, M., Lawson, K., O'Neill, J. (2020) Creative Bravery Festival: The Walking Classroom Walking and talking as convivial pedagogy Online - https://creativebraveryfestival.com/event-type/discovery-tent/, .
2019 Fitzsimons, C. & O'Neill, J. (2019) EuroACS 2019 conference: curriculum origins, trajectories and practices Adult education and curriculum tensions Maynooth University, .
2019 O'Neill, J. (2019) Pictures at an exhibition: experiencing a narrative inquiry conference’ 5th International Irish Narrative Inquiry Conference Exploring Creativity in Narrative Inquiry Trinity College Dublin, .
2018 O'Neill, J. (2018) Co-creating a critical, reflective and poetic narrative on community education 4th International Irish Narrative Inquiry Conference: Narrating Neo-Liberalism in an Irish Context IT Sligo, .
2017 O'Neill, J. (2017) ‘Midwifery of the new’: Critically creative explorations of Community Education values, opportunities and challenges AONTAS CEN 10th Anniversary Conference Croke Park, Dublin, .
2016 Fitzsimons, C. & O'Neill, J. (2016) Creative explorations of adult educators’ values, challenges and hope ESREA 8th Triennial European Research Conference Maynooth University, .
2016 O'Neill, J. (2016) A (re)turn to Joyce Country: performing narratives of occupational precarity Third International Narrative Inquiry Conference NUI Galway, .
2016 Finnegan, F. & O’Neill, J. (2016) Building Critical Visions on Employability in European Higher Education: Listening to Students’ Voices ESREA 8th Triennial European Research Conference Maynooth University, .
2014 O'Neill, J. (2014) Just a tutor: narratives of tutor experience and development in ETBs DIE European conference on professionalization of Adult Education German Adult Education Institute (DIE), .
2014 O'Neill, J. (2014) Re-visioning CPD for Adult Educators National FE Conference Maynooth University, .

Audiovisual material

Year Publication
2017 O'Neill, J. (2017) 'Midwifery of the new' [a Boalian-inspired animated found poem]. [Audiovisual material] [Link]


Year Publication
2009 O'Neill, J. et al. (2009) Educational Development Discussion Group (EDDG) Blog. [Blog] [Link]

Book Review

Year Publication
2016 O'Neill, J. (2016) Review of Merriam, Sharan B. and Bierema, Laura L. (2013) Adult learning: linking theory and practice. The Adult Learner: [Book Review]


Year Publication
2020 O'Neill, J. (2020) Walking It: A series of occasional walking dialogues which explore, on foot and in situ, the significance of place and walking on people’s ways of knowing and being in the world. [Podcast] [Link]


Year Publication
2020 O'Neill, Jerry; Burns, Gareth (2020) Becoming and Transforming: towards enhancing diversity in teacher education and development [Turn to Teaching phase two proposal]. Maynooth: [Report]
2020 Culliane, Susan; O'Neill, Jerry; AONTAS (2020) 'We make the path by walking: community education walking dialogues': AONTAS Community Education Network Conversation Series. [Report]
2020 Bracken, M., Hyland, S., O’Neill, J (2020) Diversity, change and challenges in the work of Adult Education Officers. [Report]
2018 Finnegan, F. & O'Neill, J. (2018) Learner Voice and FET: an evaluation report of the National Further Education Learner Fora for 2016 & 2017. Dublin: [Report]
2018 O'Neill, J. & Fitzsimons, C. (2018) A review of the experiences and employment status of graduates of the Higher Diploma in Further Education at Maynooth University’s Department of Adult and Community Education (2013-2017). [Report] [Link]
2017 O'Neill, J. (2017) Towards a Critical and Participatory Model of Tenant Participation. [Report]
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