Belfast Telegraph

Re-appointment of three Board Members to the Board of Ilex URC 

Stormont Executive press release - Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister

The Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister today announced the re-appointment of Dame Geraldine Keegan, Mrs Margaret Lee and Mr Colm McKenna to the Board of Ilex URC. 

The re-appointment takes effect from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016. Dame Geraldine, Mrs Lee and Mr McKenna have served a first term on the Ilex Board since 1 July 2010. 

This re-appointment was made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland. 

Biographical Details

Dame Geraldine Keegan DBE

  • Dame Geraldine was Principal of St Mary’s College in Derry for 19 years retiring in 2006. At her retirement, St Mary’s had achieved the distinction of being the highest achieving inner city secondary school of its kind throughout the United Kingdom. In April 2008, Dame Geraldine took up a new education post in Qatar as an educational consultant (part-time) involved in setting up international schools. She has also worked with the Brunei Schools' Inspectorate and has been a frequent keynote speaker at conferences worldwide. A native of Aghadowey, she was educated at Thornhill College, St Mary’s University College, Belfast, the University of Ulster, the University of Warwick and the University of Manchester. In 1995, she received an OBE for services to education and was made a Dame in 2000. Dame Geraldine is a former Pro-chancellor of the University of Ulster and was appointed a visiting professor at the University of Ulster between 2001- 2006. She is also a Governor of the North West Institute for Further & Higher Education, Council Member of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS), and a former Non-Executive Director of the National Museums Northern Ireland. Dame Geraldine Keegan brings specialist skills and knowledge in the areas of education, youth and the community sector to the Ilex Board.
  • Dame Geraldine does not receive any remuneration in respect of these positions and does not engage in any political activity.

Mrs Margaret Lee

  • Mrs. Margaret Lee is currently an Associate with The Pool, practitioner consultancy experts managed by Locality. The Pool is a unique resource of practitioner experts managed by Locality. Locality is the leading network of community enterprise specialists, dedicated to helping people set up development trusts and helping existing development trusts learn from each other and work effectively. Mrs.Lee continues her role as the Honorary Consul for New Zealand in Northern Ireland, appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wellington, New Zealand. In that role she is also the Patron of the William Massey Foundation in N.Ireland, and a Director with the Ulster New Zealand Trust, a registered charity responsible for the ownership and promotion of The Ballance House, birthplace of former NZ Prime Minister John Ballance. In addition, Mrs Lee brings skills and knowledge in the areas of enterprise development and community development to the Ilex Board..
  • Mrs Lee does not engage in any political activity and holds no other public appointments.

Mr Colm McKenna

  • Mr Colm McKenna has a banking background. He worked for the Bank of Ireland from 1991 until 2008, starting in 1991 as Head of Treasury and International Banking and finishing latterly as Head of Marketing Services (UK). During his banking career he was largely responsible for business development activity which saw the Bank of Ireland rise from 4th to 1st position in terms of corporate banking market share. Since retiring from banking, he has taken on a number of Non-executive roles in the Public Sector. He acts as Chairman of the NI Assembly Secretariat Audit and Risk committee, is an Independent Board Member in NI Courts and Tribunals Service, an Independent Member of BBC – NI Appeals advisory committee and is a Non-Executive Director and Trustee of the NHS Confederation.Mr McKenna is also Chairman of the South East Health and Social Care Trust for which he receives remuneration of £28,512 per annum. Mr McKenna brings skills and knowledge in the areas of finance and administration to the Ilex Board.
  • Mr McKenna does not engage in any political activity.

Notes to editors:

1. Ilex URC was legally established as a company, limited by guarantee
2. For administrative purposes it is classified as an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by OFMDFM. 
3. Ilex URC was established to promote the physical, economic and social regeneration of Derry-Londonderry and has specific responsibility to manage and re-develop the former military base at Ebrington. The company was established jointly by DSD and OFMDFM in 2003. From 1st April 2013, Ilex is fully owned by and accountable to OFMDFM.
4. The position of Board Member of Ilex URC carries an annual remuneration of £9,600.
5. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments in Northern Ireland requires that the political activity of appointees be published. 

Follow the Executive online:

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph