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Arts Council welcomes six new Board Members

Wednesday 1st July 2020 at 4pm 0 Comments

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to learn of the appointment of six new members to its Board, announced today by the Department for Communities.

The Arts Council also wishes to take the opportunity to thank outgoing board member,  Dr Siún Hanrahan, as well as recent former members Anna Carragher, Paul Mullan , Katherine McCloskey, Noelle McAlinden,  Dr Leon Litvack and David Alderdice for their selfless dedication to the Arts Council and their valuable contribution to the Arts sector as a whole.

Read the full announcement at  and below:

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has announced the appointment of six new members to the Board of the Arts Council NI following an open competition.  She has extended the first terms of appointment of Dr Katy Radford (Vice-Chair) and Cian Smyth (Board member) with effect from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020. They have both served on the Board since 1 December 2015.

The Minister also agreed to a new open competition for the appointment of a Chair, Vice-Chair and further members to the Board, with further details to be released over the coming months.

The new members to the Board are:

  • Miss Julie Andrews
  • Mrs Lynne Best
  • Mr Liam Hannaway
  • Mr Sean Kelly
  • Ms Una McRory
  • Mr Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

These six appointments are with effect from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024.

Welcoming the appointments, the Minister said:

“I look forward to these individuals bringing their particular skills and experiences to their new positions at this particularly difficult time for the arts sector, and help lead on its recovery.”


Biographies of new Arts Council Board Members

Miss Julie Andrews
Miss Andrews has been Director of the Linen Hall Library since 2013. Prior to that she was involved in community arts whilst managing Belfast’s Spectrum Centre, an arts and cultural multi-purpose venue. Miss Andrews has responsibility for the strategic leadership of the Linen Hall Library. She has introduced a range of initiatives to facilitate partnerships and co-operative working with a number of external organisations as well as successfully procuring major funding for a number of digitisation projects. She has overseen the development and enrichment of the Library’s wide-ranging arts and cultural programming, and education and outreach activities. Miss Andrews also sits on the Boards of Eastside Tourism, Ormeau Business Park and the Ulster-Scots Agency. She does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years

Mrs Lynne Best
Mrs Lynne Best (née McDowell) is currently Head of Communications for the music licensing company PPL. She was previously Managing Director at Well Red Music and Media which provided corporate communications and policy advice to a range of global media and music companies. She has also held the role of Head of PR at BPI, the UK’s representative body for record labels and music technology companies and organiser of The BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize. Prior to working in music, Mrs Best started her career at the European Parliament in Brussels following the completion of her degree in Strasbourg, France. She is a Board Member of the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast and the Americana Music Association UK. She is also on the Advisory Panel of the all-Ireland mental health initiative, Minding Creative Minds. She does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years.

Mr Liam Hannaway
Mr Hannaway is a former Chief Executive and Chief Accounting Office of a District Council, with experience of establishing governance arrangements, committee structures, setting direction/strategy, through the establishment of corporate plans, and managing budgets. He was responsible for the publication of the Council Community plan using leadership and negotiating skills, as well as stakeholder engagement to obtain agreement for the plan from public sector officials, politicians and community representatives. He does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years.

Mr Sean Kelly
Mr Kelly has directed the Cathedral Arts Festival from 2000, establishing principles of good governance since then, including strategic planning, risk management, financial management and fund raising. He co-founded the Black Box performing arts space formulating its business plan and adapting its business model to meet changing demand. He was one of the founders of Culture Night Belfast, which involved setting up a steering group and successfully seeking support from the business community and public funding bodies. He does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years.

Ms Una McRory
Ms McRory worked as the Regional GP Out of Hours Commissioning Manager for GP Out of Hours service across NI. Her work involved taking the lead in the development of service improvements which included benchmarking, strategy development and a public consultation on the strategy, this involved consulting with many Health Service organisations and staff. She has experience of good governance as well as ensuring that services are complying with service standards. Ms McRory owns her own company and has recently published a children’s book. She does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years.

Mr Máirtín Ó Muilleoir
Mr Ó Muilleoir is a former Board Member of NI Water, where he was involved in efforts to help the organisation regain public confidence following a contracts controversy. As a Lord Mayor of Belfast, he took steps to encourage cross party cohesion and improve relations across the city. As a Minister of Finance he implemented a range of proposals to make social value delivery a business objective of the Department. As a Director of a media group he worked to ensure its successful financial management. In the last 5 years he has undertaken political activity for the Sinn Fein Party. He does not hold any other public appointments.

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