Fr. Tim Scully, CSC and Fr. Sean McGraw, CSC, co-founders of the ACE programme, traveled to Ireland in 1996 to visit Nobel Peace Prize winner, John Hume. While there, they visited St. Mary’s University in Belfast and recruited two teachers from Northern Ireland to become ACE Teaching Fellows the following year. Emer Doherty and Ciaran Kinneyv became members of ACE 4, serving in under-resourced schools in Oklahoma City and Shreveport respectively.
Since 2002, ACE has welcomed two Irish college graduates to become ACE Teaching Fellows each year. After completing the two-year programme, these Irish ACErs have gone on to study and serve in various capacities in the US and Chile, as well as returning to Ireland to continue teaching in and leading Catholic schools.
In 2006, a core group of ten committed individuals led by Fr. Sean McGraw, CSC began to study the current state of Catholic education in Ireland, to identify possible partners for future collaborative efforts, and to build fresh, sustainable partnerships.
As a result of this process, a number of new initiatives were launched: