Irish woman elected to top job in European Trade Union Movement

24 May 2019

Esther Lynch ETUC Deputy General Secretary

Irish woman and former Irish Congress of Trade Unions official, Esther Lynch has been elected Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

Ms Lynch was elected to the top job by delegates, including the General Secretaries and Presidents, of some 90 national trade union organisations from 38 European countries.

ICTU General Secretary, Patricia King, has warmly welcomed the appointment of Ms Lynch.  Ms King congratulated her personally following the vote at the ETUC Congress in Vienna, Austria earlier today.

Speaking from Vienna Ms King said: “I was delighted to be among the first to offer my congratulations, and those of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, to Esther on her well-deserved appointment.

“The level of support that her candidacy received reflects the very high regard in which she is held across Europe.

“Now more than ever, we need strong voices speaking on behalf of and protecting the rights of European workers in EU decision-making. Esther was a superb choice with long experience of what the job involves. This is a great result for the 45 million workers who are members of ETUC-affiliated trade unions.”

She added: “I wish Esther well as she takes on her new responsibilities and assure her of ICTU’s full support.”

Ms Lynch will take up her four year Brussels-based post immediately.





Esther Lynch was Legislation and Social Affairs Officer at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions between 1993-2015, before moving to the ETUC to take up the post of Confederal Secretary following her election at the 2015 Paris Congress.

The ETUC is the voice of workers and represents 45 million members from 90 trade union organisations in 38 European countries, plus 10 European Trade Union Federations. It aims to ensure that the EU is not just a single market for goods and services, but is also a Social Europe, where improving the wellbeing of workers and their families is an equally important priority.

The 14th Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) took place from Monday 20th to Friday 24th May in Vienna, Austria.

The Irish delegation to the ETUC Congress is comprised of:

Patricia King, General Secretary, ICTU

Owen Riedy, Assistant General Secretary, ICTU

Joe O’Flynn, General Secretary, SIPTU

Shay Cody, Senior General Secretary, FÓRSA

Clare Moore, Equality and Social Affairs Officer, NIC-ICTU

Laura Bambrick, Social Policy and Legislative Officer, ICTU


For further information: Conor Kavanagh, Communications Officer, 01 8897745 / 086 8116607