Our newly elected President is James Shevlin. James is from Glinsk in Co. Galway close to the Roscommon border. He is a retired Primary School Teacher having served as Principal and Deputy Principal during his career. He is married to Carmel and they have 3 sons and 3 grandchildren. He is a member of the Glinsk Centre where he serves as P.R.O. and Treasurer. He is also President of Roscommon/Athlone Region PTAA and Chairman of Connaught PAC. He sits on the Board of Management and has been a delegate from the Diocese of Elphin to Central Council.
As a keen sportsman he has won many honours during his sporting career and also in his coaching career.
With regard to the phased withdrawal of the Jesuits from the PTAA James says,
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Jesuits who provided us with so many wonderful priests to serve us in the PTAA.”, and he goes on to say,
“With this phased withdrawal of the Jesuits from the P.T.A.A. over the next three years it opens up a whole new era for us Pioneers. It presents to us a massive challenge but also an outstanding opportunity to establish ourselves into a vibrant, active spiritual lay-led organisation and to bring into a new era the great vision and ideals of the founders and founder members of our great organisation.”
In relation to some of his plans for the future of the Association, James says, “I am very passionate about the future growth and development of the Pioneer Association and have worked very hard at all levels to advance the interests and future of our association. I will work hard to help and encourage centres and regions to continue to function and make every effort and offer any help I can to revitalise some of the weaker or lapsed centres and regions. I am also anxious to maintain our current membership, try to regain former members and to help to develop strategies to enrol and keep younger people as active pioneers. I would like to get our National Youth Pioneers active and reaching out to our younger members and hope that our Under Age activities can be developed to provide a recreational dimension to the spirituality of our association. I would also encourage our members to wear and display the pioneer emblem at every opportunity.