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Board of Trustees

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Trustee Register of Interests

Mr Miceal McCoy (Chairman)  Trustee-_0006_Micael-McCoy

[Appointed Trustee 1 May 2013; appointed Chairman 1 Jan 2014]

Mr McCoy’s career spans the private sector, where he was a Production Manager within the meat industry, through to public appointments in the Agricultural, Economic and Health and Social Services departments. He chaired the Southern Organisation for Action in Rural Areas (SOAR) and was Chairman of the Rural White Paper Group on governance 2009-2010.

Mr McCoy was a member of the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission. He previously served as Chairman of the Business and Service Delivery Committee and the Criminal Working Group within the Commission.

Mr McCoy brings private sector experience as well as governance and policy skills to the NMNI Board.

He has not been involved in any political activity in the last five years.


Professor Garth Earls (Vice Chairman)Trustee-_0013_Garth-Earls

[Appointed 1 Jan 2014; appointed Vice Chairman September 2019]

Professor Earls is currently a Director of Conroy Gold and Natural Resources Limited and Central Asia Resources Limited, Minco Exploration plc and Central Asia Resources Limited. He was previously Director of the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, Chairman of the Geosciences Committee of the Royal Irish Academy and Managing Director of Dalradian Gold Limited.

Professor Earls delivers postgraduate and undergraduate courses at University College Cork and brings corporate governance skills and corporate strategy experience to the NMNI Board.

He has not been involved in any political activity in the last five years.

Trustee-0014-Dr-CoulterDr Riann Coulter

[Appointed 1 July 2020]

Dr Coulter is the founding curator and manager of the F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio in Banbridge where she is responsible for all aspects of programming and planning for collections, exhibitions, publications and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders. In her roles on the boards of NI Museums Council and the Irish Museums Association she has had direct experience of constructively challenging decisions and holding others to account for decisions reached. She oversaw the development of the draft Arts, Culture and Heritage Framework for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and is leading the Council’s large scale, ACNI funded, community engagement project Connected. Dr Coulter has published and lectured widely on Irish art and brings extensive knowledge of the museum, heritage and arts sectors in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to the NMNI Board.  

In the last 5 years she has registered as a supporter of the Labour Party. She does not hold any other public appointments.

Trustee-0017-Deirdre-DevlinMs Deirdre Devlin

[Appointed 1 July 2020] 

Ms Devlin has worked in a number of senior roles in the BBC and is currently an Executive Producer with the BBC, leading teams and overseeing a range of television output.  She was formerly a Manager of Production, in which she had responsibility for strategic planning and successfully implementing plans to deliver on the aims of the BBC. She also has board experience having served on the boards of the Northern Ireland Co-Ownership Association, including on its Governance Committee, the Celtic Media Festival and as Chair of the Replay Theatre Production Company. Ms Devlin has an interest in heritage and culture having worked collaboratively with National Museums NI during her time at the BBC. This includes two major projects with the Ulster Folk Museum and a number of major projects with the Ulster Museum.  

She has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments. She holds the Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors. 

Trustee-0015-William-DuddyMr William Duddy 

[Appointed 1 July 2020] 

Mr Duddy is a Chartered Civil Engineer and has worked in a range of managerial posts, including in NI Water where, as Director of Customer Services, he had responsibility for implementing government policy through the development and implementation of plans. He has experience of identifying, evaluating and managing risks through effective project management, and promoting good governance. Mr Duddy has financial management experience within a range of teams including identification of key financial issues and effective use of resources. He also has experience across a number of sectors (voluntary and public) including commercial skills and interest in the museums sector.  

 He has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments. 

Dr Leon Litvack Trustee-_0008_Leon-Litvack

[Appointed 1 Jan 2014; appointed Chairman of NMNI Audit and Risk Assurance Committee September 2019]

Dr Litvack is currently a Trustee of the Charles Dickens Museum. He also holds UK Cabinet appointments to the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives, and the Forum on Historical Manuscripts and Academic Research. He is an academic member of staff at Queen’s University and a freelance broadcaster. He was previously a Governor of the Linen Hall Library, a Board Member of the NI Community Relations Council, and a Board Member of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 

Dr Litvack brings corporate governance and business planning experience, and skills in equality, to the NMNI Board.  

Dr Litvack served as Vice Chairman 2017–2019. 

He has not been involved in any political activity in the last five years.


Professor Karen Fleming Trustee-_0009_Karen-Fleming

[Appointed 1 May 2013]

Professor Fleming is Head of Belfast School of Art at Ulster University and a member of the senior management team in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. 

A textile artist of international esteem, Professor Fleming is a member of the Executive Board of the Council for Higher Education in Art and Design (CHEAD), elected chair of CHEAD's Research Alliance, and a member of the Board of Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (Grad CAM).  In her role as a principal investigator of research projects she has received grants from the Arts Humanities and Research Council (AHRD), Wellcome Trust, the British Council (Canada) and European FP7.  Professor Fleming is a director of the Northern Bridge Partnership 2018-25, an AHRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership between the University of Ulster, Queen’s University Belfast and the five universities of the North East of England. She is a co-investigator of the 2018-23 AHRC-funded creative clusters ‘Future Screen NI’ project.   She is a member of the AHRC peer review college and provides peer review for the Pasold Institute and the Times Higher Education Awards.  Professor Fleming is a former Board member of Craft NI. 

Professor Fleming brings creativity, management and corporate governance skills to the NMNI Board.  

She has not been involved in any political activity in the last five years.


Mrs Hazel FranceyTrustee-_0011_Hazel-Francey

[Appointed 1 Jan 2014; appointed Chairman of the NMNI General Purposes and Finance Committee October 2018]

Mrs Francey spent most of her working life with Belfast City Council where she had responsibility for equality, community relations, race relations and diversity.  Her previous roles within the City Council included community development, policy development, corporate planning and leading the Good Relations Unit.  

Mrs Francey is currently a Commissioner with the Equality Commission for NI and is the Chairman of the Artsekta arts charity.  She is a former Board member of the Community Relations Council and a former member of the Board of Governors of two local schools, Wellington College Belfast and Rosetta Primary. 

Mrs Francey brings equality and social inclusion experience, as well as management skills to the NMNI Board.  Mrs Francey served as Vice Chairman of the NMNI Board September 2016-September 2017.

She has not been involved in any political activity in the last five years.


Mrs Daphne Harshaw Trustee-_0000_Daphne-Harshaw

[Appointed 1 May 2013]

Mrs Harshaw is a Master’s graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, in the History of Art and taught History of Art and Art Appreciation in Dublin. She is a Communications and Marketing professional and was a Principal Officer, Personnel and Management Services, in the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, initiating programmes to promote equality and counter educational disadvantage.   

Mrs Harshaw is a Board Member of Cambridge House Grammar School and chaired the Ballymena Business Education Partnership. She was also a Board Member of Triangle Housing Association. 

Mrs Harshaw’s experience also spans the arts and heritage sector where she worked as a curator for the National Trust and had curatorial, house and staff management experience at Mount Stewart. She was also Arts Officer for Antrim Borough Council. 

Mrs Harshaw brings organisational and communication skills, as well as a passion and interest in museums, to the NMNI Board.  

She has not been involved in any political activity in the last five years.


 Trustee-0016-Charlotte-JessMiss Charlotte Jess 

 [Appointed 1 July 2020] 

 Ms Jess is the Website Manager at Queen’s University Belfast, as well as the current Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Crescent Arts Centre. As Chairperson, she led on the development of a new strategy, including a defined vision, mission and values, and led the Board through a period of transformational change and a governance audit.  Ms Jess has varied experience in introducing technology-based solutions, including social media, to reach out to a wide range of audiences and stakeholders, and has a strong interest in the heritage of Northern Ireland.  

 She has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments. 


Dr Rosemary Kelly OBE Trustee-_0004_Rosemary-Kelly 

[Appointed 1 May 2013]

Dr Kelly is currently a Trustee of National Museums Northern Ireland and a Board member of the Royal Ulster Academy of Artists.  She is also a member of the Kilfinan Group.

She was, formerly, Chairman of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; Chairman of the British Council in NI (and a member of its International Board in London); a Governor of the Irish Times in Dublin; a Council Member of Ulster University; a member of the Ofcom Content Board in London; a Board member of the NI National Trust; Chairman of Help the Aged NI and a member of its international Board in London; Chairman of the Ormeau Baths Gallery; Deputy Chairman of the Ulster Orchestra; and President of the Association of Ulster Drama Festivals. She was also a founding member of the Irish Film and Television Academy.

Rosemary is a former BBC programme producer and was, subsequently, Head of Public Affairs and Secretary Northern Ireland in the corporation.

She was awarded an OBE in January 2009 and an Honorary DLitt by the Ulster University in 2012, both for services to the Arts.

Dr Kelly has not been involved in any political activity in the last five years.


Mr Alan McFarland Trustee-_0003_Alan-McFarland

[Appointed 1 May 2013]

Mr McFarland served as an officer in the British Army until 1992. He served as Press Officer for the UK Mobile Force and as a Management Consultant with the Ministry of Defence.  He was also Curator of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment Museum, was Director of the Somme Museum and is currently Chairman of the Somme Association.

His wide ranging public service has included Trustee of the Scotch-Irish Trust of Ulster which owns The Mellon Centre for Migration Studies, Omagh; membership of the NI Forum for Political Dialogue and membership of the Ulster Unionist Talks Team that negotiated the Belfast Agreement. He also served as a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, holding a variety of positions and serving on various committees. He was a member of the first Northern Ireland Policing Board. 

Mr McFarland brings leadership, press and media skills, as well as a particular expertise in military history, to the NMNI Board. 

He has not been involved in any political activity in the last five years.


Dr George McIlroy Trustee-_0012_George-McIlroy

[Appointed 1 Jan 2014; appointed Deputy Chairman of the NMNI General Purposes and Finance Committee September 2019]


Dr McIlroy has over 30 years’ experience in corporate governance, budgetary management, and policy development, acquired from working in senior executive and non-executive roles and Directorships on principal Boards in both the Private and Public sectors. Dr McIlroy was Group Technical Director of two large, international Private sector Companies for over 10 years and served as Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Chief Scientific Officer (Deputy Secretary) and a Member of the Board of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in the Public sector. He was appointed in 2006 by the DARD Minister as the first Chief Executive/Accounting Officer of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, a newly established Public sector body of 850 staff, with a commercial imperative and an annual budget of £60m.

Dr McIlroy is currently a Member of the Boards of the Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority, the Western Health and Social Care Trust and was an independent Member and Deputy Chair of the TB Strategic Partnership Group, an advisory Board to the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs until 2019. He is a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (1975), an elected Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (2007), an elected Fellow of the Institute of Directors (2008) and an elected Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management (2013). He has served as Deputy Chairman of the NMNI General Purposes and Finance Committee (2014-2017), was a co-opted Member of the NMNI Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (2015-17) and has served on several NMNI Board Working Groups. He has also served as Chairman of the NMNI Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) (2017-2019) and is currently Deputy Chairman of ARAC and a Member of the Governance Working Group.

He has not been involved in any political activity in the last five years.


Mrs Catherine Molloy Trustee-_0001_Catherine-Molloy

[Appointed 1 Jan 2014]

Mrs Molloy is a retired Primary School Principal and a former Trustee of Mediation NI. She was an elected member of Belfast City Council (1997-2005) and served on the then Belfast Education and Library Board, two primary school Boards of Governors, the South Belfast Partnership Board and represented Belfast City Council on the Linenhall Library Governing Body. 

She currently volunteers with the National Trust as a Visitor Experience Guide. 

She brings local government experience, corporate strategy and corporate governance experience and skills to NMNI. 


Trustee-0018-Robert-WhanDr Robert Whan 

[Appointed 1 July 2020] 

Dr Whan is Director of Armagh Robinson Library and No 5 Vicars’ Hill, Armagh, having previously taught history to university students, as well as holding positions in National Museums NI, Newry and Mourne Museum and Down County Museum. In Armagh Robinson Library he has responsibility for developing and implementing key organisational objectives.

He has experience of identifying key financial issues with a view to achieving financial sustainability, and an appreciation of the influence and contribution that museums can make to society through his current employment in the museums sector.

He has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.