Oonagh began her career in teaching before working in management roles within the Education Directorate of Strathclyde Regional Council and holding senior posts in Glasgow City Council and Fife Council. Her work with the Local Government Association focused on improving Children’s Services and co-managing the Ageing Well programme. In the mid 2000s, she spent three years at McGill University School of Social Work, teaching social policy and conducting research in First Nations and Inuit communities. She also spent two years in Brussels as part of her role as European Liaison officer at Strathclyde Regional Council, and has European and international experience. Oonagh holds a degree in Modern Languages, a Master’s in Educational Administration and a Master’s in Art History.