Eilis Manning BA, Cert Ed, Dip G&C
Eilis was born in Carnlough and brought up in the Lower Falls area of Belfast. She was educated at St Vincent’s PS, Dominic’s High School and did a 4 year teacher training course (Commercial Studies and Maths) at St Mary’s TT College (now known as St Mary’s University College).
After that she worked as an office temp in London for a while and then taught in Mongu TT College in the Western Province of Zambia for a number of years. When she returned home in 1970, she got a job in Newry College of Further and Higher Education (now part of the Southern Regional College) where she taught commercial subjects and Information Technology. She then did a degree with the Open University and a full time one year diploma course in Guidance and Counselling at Jordanstown.
Eilis was a foster carer for over 20 years, is also an adoptive parent and about ten years ago the family began providing respite care for disabled children. In 1988 Eilis became involved with Adopts Newry support group. She then moved into facilitating the group and eventually joined the Adopt Committee and worked as a volunteer in providing support for those facing some of the challenges adoption can bring. In February 2003 Eilis resigned from the committee to take up the full time position of coordinator of Adopt. In April 2007, due to ill health, she went part time and shared the coordinator’s role with the newly appointed Kate Cushnahan. In April 2008 Eilis finally retired from this part time role. At the AGM in November that year she rejoined the Management Committee and was elected Chairperson.
During her time both as a volunteer and as coordinator, Eilis has provided one-to-one support and facilitated group support for many clients, has helped forge good working relationships with adoption agencies and support organisations throughout the UK and beyond and is a member of the N Ireland Adopting the Future Implementation Group (ATFIG) which has been studying recent adoption legislation in England and Wales with a view to amending it to suit N Ireland.