Our Board

Mr  Paul Donaghy (Chairperson)

Paul is Chairperson of OCN NI and a member of the Northern Ireland Impact Forum. He has worked as a town planner, workforce representative, manager of NHS University (NI) and Head of the Health & Social Care Widening Participation Unit. He has also worked as a consultant for the HSC Leadership Centre.





Mrs  Anne-Marie McClure MBE (Vice-Chair)

Anne-Marie is the Chief Executive of Start360. She is a Health Visitor by profession, the recipient of the Northern Ireland Adult Nurse of the Year Award in 2000, awarded an MBE in 2009 for services to young people and CO3’s Inspiring Leader of the Year 2016.

Start360 is a cutting edge provider of support services to young people, adult offenders and families in the community, across Northern Ireland - delivering 26 different services, across health, justice and employability to those who need additional support so that they can make change in their lives and meet their potential.


Mr Anthony McAteer BEM (Chair of Regulation & Quality Committee)

Tony McAteer is the Operations Manager at Clanrye Group. Based in Newry, Clanrye Group provides structured and supervised training alongside employability support to help prepare young people for the world of work.  Tony is experienced in delivering qualifications and working with a range of awarding bodies.  He also has experience is preparing for ETI inspections and ensuring quality standards are maintained within his organisation.


Mrs Kate Fleck

Kate Fleck retired in 2018 and has made a valuable contribution to the NI health sector throughout her career.  She is the former CEO of Arthritis Care in NI, having led the organisation from Nov 2006 to Jun 2018 (over 11 years).  Before that, she was NI Director of Diabetes UK (Sep 1999 - Sept 2006 (7 years).  In addition, Kate has served on numerous Board’s which include, the Family Fund, CO3 and its CO3 Health and Social Care Special Interest Group.  Kate continues to play an active role in NI by currently serving on the South East Local Commissioning Group, which is responsible for the commissioning of health and social care by addressing the care needs of its local population.

Mrs Ann McGuinness

I've worked for 30+ years in the community and voluntary sector and many of the programmes I've managed, have delivered qualifications to our attendees. 

Empowering people through meaningful and affordable education is important to me, which is what brought me to OCNNI.

As a counsellor I've been involved with and facilitated mental health programs and have delivered counselling to students from our colleges and universities over the past 8 years so have a good understanding of some of the barriers to learning.  


Mrs Edith Shaw

Edith has been involved in education and training for her entire life; as a student, teacher, trainer, parent, school governor, NVQ assessor and internal auditor.  She has vast experience of serving on various education boards, these include Carolan Grammar School, Wellington College Belfast and Oakwood School. Edith’s training includes Child Protection, Special Educational Needs and Disability Discrimination Legislation, Recruitment and Selection, Data Protection and Freedom of Information Act, Children’s Human Rights and Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures.


Dr Ian Walters (Chair of Finance & General Purposes Committee)

Dr Ian Walters worked in the Northern Ireland Civil Service for more than 30 years, then spent 9 years as Chief Executive of the Action Mental Health charity. He was educated at Manchester University, graduating in Electrical Engineering and later gaining a post-graduate Diploma in Management Science. Ian has many years of voluntary experience, including chairing the boards of governors at two primary schools over a 30-year period. He was a director of UK Skills for 15 years, chairing its audit and risk committee. He also spent 13 years at Belfast Metropolitan College, as vice chair then chair of its Governing Body.



Prof. Jonathan Heggarty MBE

Prof. Jonathan Heggarty is the Principal of Stranmillis College and former Director of Curriculum and Learner Success at Belfast Metropolitan College. In 2018 he was awarded an MBE for services to Further Education. Jonathan brings a wealth of experience from the Further, Higher Education and private industry sectors.


Mr John D’Arcy OBE

John D’Arcy is Director at the Open University in Ireland. John is former CEO of the Association of Northern Ireland Colleges, a post he held since 2003, in which he led the organisation and the sector through a period of unprecedented change. John led the central change project to merge 16 colleges into the present 6 larger regional colleges. John graduated with a degree in psychology from Queen’s University Belfast in 1982. The first fifteen years of his career were devoted to research, as a Research Fellow at the Northern Ireland Council for Educational Research and later as Principal Officer at the Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment. 


Mrs Michele Marken OBE

Michele is a very well-known figure in the world of education. She began her teaching career in September 1970. From 1970-1992 she was Head of English and Drama in St Nicholas’ High School, Carrickfergus, school counsellor, director of school shows and Vice Principal of St Colm’s High School, Twinbrook. In January 1993 she was appointed Principal of St Joseph’s College, Belfast. During her time as Principal she was responsible for leading the school during the amalgamation of two single sex schools and developing a strong Post 16 curriculum of traditional A Levels and vocational subjects. She retired in 2008 after more than 15 years as a Principal. She is Chair of the Belfast Festival of Learning working group of the Life Long Learning. In addition, she  was Vice-chair and member of the Board of Public Achievement which worked with young people helping to build democratic communities particularly in challenging areas.

Mr Barry Neilson OBE

Barry has a Civil Engineering background, starting work as an apprentice draughtsman and progressing to complete a BSc in Civil Engineering, He is a Chartered Civil Engineer and a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Much of Barry’s early career was with Civil Engineering consultancies. He has a strong background in the Housing Sector having worked with both the Scottish Special Housing Association and NHBC.

With strong views on the value and importance of training & developing people he joined the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) as Director for Scotland and worked closely with the construction sector to develop its expertise in construction management. He was seconded from CIOB to work with the Department of Business Industry & Skills and was instrumental in developing the TrustMark initiative.

In May 2010, Barry Joined CITB-Construction Skills NI as Chief Executive.


Advanced Education • Awarding Qualifications

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