Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Board Biographies

The Board consists of the Chair plus 10 members and meets on a regular basis.

The Board members, including Chairperson, John Edmund and Vice-Chair, Dr Katy Radford, are drawn from a broad cross-section of representatives from the arts and cultural sector.

If you need to contact the Board please email


John Edmund - Chairperson

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John Edmund is a strategic planning and organisational development consultant, and a marketing professional working with clients across the UK and Ireland. He is a former Chairman (Worldwide) of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Vice-President of the European Marketing Confederation, Chair of the Grand Opera House, Belfast, Chair of the NI Music Industry Commission, and a Director of the Odyssey Trust Co Ltd and the Odyssey Construction Co Ltd.

Dr Katy Radford MBE - Vice Chair

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Dr Katy Radford, MBE works at the Institute for Conflict Research designing and delivering research, training, policy and community development programmes.  She uses the arts as the principal methodology for engagement when working in communities.  She has a PhD in Ethnomusicology and previously worked in international feature film productions and in the broadcast media.  Katy is a Ministerial appointment to the Commission for Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition, she sits on the Executive Office’s Race Equality Sub-Group and on the Executive Council of the Northern Ireland Jewish Community. 

David Alderdice

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David is the Director of the British Council Northern Ireland having formerly held senior positions with the British Council in England, Bangladesh, Thailand, Argentina,the Netherlands, Iraq and Austria.

The British Council’s strategic purpose is to use the cultural resources of  the UK to promote a ‘friendly knowledge and understanding’ between the peopleof the UK and people worldwide, to make a positive contribution to all the countries where we work, and to make a lasting difference to the UK’s security, prosperity and influence.

David is also Chair of Eastside Arts

Anna Carragher

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Anna Carragher worked in broadcasting as a radio and television producer and editor in both London and Belfast; she was Head of Programmes and then Controller, BBC Northern Ireland, where she made local arts coverage a priority, most notably setting up Radio Ulster’s popular Arts Extra programme. She is the Northern Ireland Trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund and a member of its Board; she is also the Electoral Commissioner for Northern Ireland and a Trustee of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust.

Miss Carragher is a former Chair of the Grand Opera House Trust and she was a member of the UK City of Culture assessment panel which unanimously selected the Derry~Londonderry bid.  

She has been a Commissioner on the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and a Board member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

Noelle McAlinden

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Noelle McAlinden is employed by The Education Authority – Western Region and has had a career of over 30 years in the Education, Arts and Culture, supporting strategic partnership working across voluntary, statutory and community sectors across ELBs. Successfully taught Arts Education, across primary, post primary, University, Prison and Youth Sectors. Arts Adviser with WELB, member of the Steering group for Creative Learning Centres. Proactive in designing creative and cultural collaborations, North and South. Director of North West Academy of The Arts. Successful in bringing Form and Fusion Design Awards to NI and Director ofSteering Group for Lough Macnean Sculpture Trail.  An active member and Chair of The Forum for Local Government and The Arts, FLGA, working across all District Councils Former Chair of Creative Youth Partnerships. Former President of the Association of Art and Design Education NI.  Previous Board member of Void Gallery, Nerve Centre, Studio 6ix Artists’ Studios and BBC Children in Need.

Seconded as Creative Adviser to ILEX URC, promoted stakeholder engagement to inform the City Wide ONE PLAN ,an active member of the bid team that  inspired enthusiasm among stakeholders,  that secured Derry ~Londonderry, as the first UK City of Culture 2013. and secured the City as one of four finalists, shortlisted as European Youth Capital.

Noelle facilitated and managed the successful Cultural Animation Fund and Programme of Ebrington, as a thriving Shared Space, in the lead up to 2013.

Noelle was Arts in Education Adviser, with Culture Company 2013, and subsequently Director and Curator of The London Street Gallery, a gallery that broke all records during 2013. Active Board member for the Centre of Contemporary Arts and Chair of Fermanagh Live, Arts Festival. A member of the Steering Group of Amazing the Space Peace initiative and Member of RUA Council.

Noelle is a practising visual artist, and has exhibited successfully throughout Ireland, and participated in facilitating numerous Arts and Cultural initiatives and programmes including Artist in Residence Schemes. Noelle continues to support, mentor and connect artists, educators, health and creative professionals. She is an avid, arts advocate of the transformational power of Arts, to support communities heal, regenerate, develop, and thrive.


Katherine McCloskey

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Katherine McCloskey began her career as a librarian in the Fine Arts Department of the Central Library before moving on to the College of Art library. She became the Chief Librarian and a member of the senior management team of the Belfast Education and Library Board. She is a former Chair of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. She represented Northern Ireland for many years on various bodies developing library co-operation in Ireland and the UK.

Mrs McCloskey gained experience in community arts during her time as Divisional Librarian for North and West Belfast and as Chief Librarian in Central Library.

She has a wide ranging interest in the arts and particularly Irish Art and Literature.

Paul Mullan

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Mr Mullan is Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland and a past Acting Director of the National Trust.  Paul has been involved in governance, as Chair and a board member, for a number of arts organisations and education charities.  He is particularly interested in engaging communities from deprived areas with the arts.  Paul is currently working on a PhD looking at how communities remember the past, and has written and broadcasted on a variety of heritage matters.

Dr Siún Hanrahan

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Dr Hanrahan is currently a Board Member of Belfast Exposed Photography. She was previously the Head of Academic Affairs and Research, and Head of Research and Postgraduate Development at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. She brings experience within the arts field, as well as experience of equality issues, to the body. 

Dr Leon Litvack

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Dr Litvack is currently a Board Member of the NI Community Relations Council, a Trustee of the Charles Dickens Museum in London, for which he receives travel and subsistence expenses only, and a Trustee of National Museums NI, for which he receives travel and subsistence expenses only. He was previously a Governor of the Linen Hall Library. Dr Litvack is an academic member of staff at Queen’s University and a freelance broadcaster. He brings corporate governance, finance, and business planning experience, and skills in equality, to the body.

Roisin Erskine

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Roisin Erskine works as a community development manager for Suffolk Community Forum and is currently on the Management Committee of at least six community / voluntary organisations, including being a Director of the social economy group, Stewartstown Road Regeneration Project, as the Treasurer for Beyond Skin and Chairperson of Suffolk and Lenadoon Interface Group.  Having worked over the last ten years on a number of cross-community, inter-generational  and women’s programmes to name but a few, Roisin has developed a keen interest in Arts Intervention and strives to promote the Arts within communities for therapy and personal development, seeing Arts as having scope to become a life-long indulgence as well as a vehicle for transformation.  Engaging in public Art for pleasure has seen Roisin participate in many of Northern Ireland's large-scale productions including Land of GiantsThe Temple and most recently Nine Nights.

Taking part in the Mongol Car Rally for Charity, Roisin became one third of the first all-female team from Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland (as it was a mixed team) to complete the 12,000 mile trip, in a 1 litre Nissan Micra car, traversing some of the Northern hemisphere’s most remote and hostile terrain.  This experience really cemented her understanding of how arts transcend cultures and other global barriers.  Her keen sense of adventure and zest for living life to the full has got her the reputation of being adept in juggling multiple wild and wacky programmes at any one time.

Cian Smyth

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Cian Smyth has 20 years’ experience working in the arts and film sectors through which he has worked with NI Screen, the UK Film Council, European Commission, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Cinema Arts Network, and The Space.  During his career he has attracted over €1 million of investment by the EC into the local film and television industry and built a £5 million cultural programme for Northern Ireland and its involvement in London 2012. He is presently Producer at Hull UK City of Culture 2017, an Artistic Advisor to 1418Now and Chairperson of Outburst Arts.".