Board Members - Extern Northern Ireland

Derek McCabe

Chair of Extern Group & Extern Ireland & Extern Northern Ireland Director, Extern Supporting Communities Director

Derek is a Civil Engineer and a member of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as a Commissioner for Oaths. He is a Nuffield Farming Scholar and he is MD of Sheelin & Mc Cabe Planning Services Ltd, which provides a residential and commercial design and planning practice in Co. Cavan and surrounding counties. He has a number of business interests extending to Farming, Forestry , Property and Retail.

He was previously a Board member of Cluid Housing Association, and chairman of Nuffield Ireland, he was also a founding member and Chairman of Cavan Monaghan Rural Development Co-op. He was previously appointed by the Minister for Agriculture in Northern Ireland to serve as a member of the Review of Decisions Panel.

Derek was the inaugural winner of The Wheel’s Charity Trustee of the year for 2017 and also accepted the Leadership & Governance award in Northern Ireland for 2017 on behalf of the Extern organisation. Derek is married with three children and lives in Mountnugent, Co. Cavan.

Gerry Campbell

Gerry Campbell

Chair of Extern Northern Ireland & Extern Group Director

Gerry is the current Chief Executive of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, an organisation established as an upper tier of management for Catholic schools in 1989 in response to concerns about underachievement

Gerry had previously led Colleges NI, the membership body representing the six Regional, Further and Higher Education Colleges in Northern Ireland. Before that, he was Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children & Young People between July 2008 and June 2011. Prior to that, Gerry was the Director of Corporate Services with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, overseeing corporate governance, financial management and human resources for over 6 years.

Between 1999 and 2002, Gerry was the Regional Commercial Training Manager for the British Red Cross, responsible for all commercial training activities in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Previous to that, he was involved in private sector work including graduate recruitment and training.

Gerry is currently the Chair of two small charitable organisations in Antrim and was previously a Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chair of the Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and a Board Member with Sport Northern Ireland. Gerry is also the independent Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee with the Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland. In a voluntary capacity he is the Chair of the Board of Governors of a primary school in Antrim and a Governor of a post primary school in Randalstown.

Gerry has been on the Extern Board since February 2008 and was Chair of Extern’s Audit & Risk Committee until March 2016.

Gerry is married with three children and lives in Randalstown, Co Antrim.

Aideen D’Arcy MBE, BA, MSSc, MCIH

Aideen D’Arcy MBE

Extern Supporting Communities Chair, Northern Ireland Treasurer/Director & Extern Group Director

Aideen lives in Belfast and was educated at Queen’s and the Ulster Universities. After graduating in Geography from QUB, Aideen taught in the post primary sector before embarking on a rewarding career in social housing for over 30 years, specialising in the provision of supported accommodation for vulnerable people including frail elderly, homeless, mentally ill and learning disabled people, street drinkers as well as ethnic minorities. She initiated many innovative and statutory organisations on an all-Ireland basis.

Aideen served on the NI Regional Council of the Society of St Vincent de Paul for over 15 years and undertook several initiatives to improve standards of accommodation and service provision of the organisation's homeless facilities throughout Ireland recognising that everyone should have a safe place to call home and a stake in their community to have the opportunity to fulfil their full potential in life.

Molly Buckley

Molly Buckley

Extern Northern Ireland Director

Molly lives in Tullamore, Co.Offaly. She is married to Jim, with five grown up children.

A Public Health Nurse by profession, she has worked extensively in community development and family support service, and is best described as an equality and disability rights activist. She is a former CEO of The Irish Wheelchair Association and is currently Vice Chair of the Offaly branch.

Molly is now working full time in the community and voluntary sector, where is renowned for her participation and leadership, her priority being to improve the quality of people's lives.

She is currently Chairperson of Offaly Domestic Violence Support Services, Chairperson Rights for the Elderly Voluntary Housing Association Ltd (built 16 houses and Community Centre, shared with Tullamore Housing Association), Treasurer of Midlands Simon Community, Chairperson and Power4Good Ireland Ltd (Human rights project for people with a disability in Zambia).

Brendan Johnston MBE

Brendan Johnston MBE

Extern Northern Ireland and Extern Group Director

Brendan Johnston is a social worker and has spent his career in statutory social work in Northern Ireland. He has had experience of many different roles in his career, working in all programmes of care though mainly in the area of children’s services. In the late ‘90s he worked closely with Extern West, particularly with development of Killadeas and later Roscor.

As well as his qualification in social work, Brendan has a Diploma in Management Studies and an MBA. In 2004, he completed the Top Management Programme run by the Kings Fund. Brendan has also been involved in a number of joint training initiatives with colleagues from CO3 and the Republic of Ireland.

Brendan previously worked as an Assistant Director of Social Services at the Western Health Social Board, where he was responsible for commissioning children’s services and training for social workers and social care workers.

More recently, Brendan was the first Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Social Care Council and was responsible for establishing the regulation of social care workers in Northern Ireland. His work at the Council and in previous roles has provided him with a large range of experience in Strategic Management, Policy Formulation, Governance Risk Management, Finance and Human Resources. Brendan retired from the Council in early 2013.

Dermot O’Donnell

Dermot O’Donnell

Extern Northern Ireland & Extern Ireland Director

Dermot, a native of Dublin, has lived in Kildare for the past 40 years. He is skilled in the areas of Conflict Management, Educational Television Production, Group Facilitation, Quality and Innovation Management and Outcomes and Impact Measurement.

His professional career has seen him involved with the City of Dublin Public Library Service, An Garda Sίochána, Respond! Housing Association and currently, the Disability Federation of Ireland. He is also a member of the Mental Health Commission’s Mental Health Tribunal panel.

Dermot, who has long been active in the areas of rural development and social inclusion, is a Member of Kildare County Council Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), Kildare Public Participation Network (PPN) and the County Kildare Leader Partnership.

Ian McAvoy

Extern Northern Ireland & Extern Supporting Communities Director/Secretary

Ian lives in Belfast and was educated at MCB and London University. After graduating in economics Ian studied accountancy. After a spell in practice, he became the Finance Director of a leading Irish Brand and was promoted to Chief Executive holding that position for 16 years. He has much expertise in strategic planning, transformation, finance and marketing.

Ian was Chair of PlayBoard, Vice Chair of Sport NI, Director of Sport NI, he is presently Vice Chair of Ark Housing

He has a keen interest in rugby and football, initially as a player and now as an administrator and holds the positon of Chairman of rugby at Queen's University, Belfast.

He is married to Lynne with three grown up children.

Grainne Hassett

Extern Northern Ireland Director

Grainne Hassett is a practising solicitor with over 20 years' experience. She has worked in-house for financial services companies and at management level for a leading Irish bank. She also has wide experience in private practice having worked for a Big 5 corporate practice and established her own firm. She is currently working for a leading Dublin employment law practice.

Throughout her career she has participated in charitable organisations and together with her current involvement on the Board of Extern Northern Ireland and she is on the Board of Future Voices Ireland (a charity which supports the continuing education of underprivileged children), involved with the charity Hospice Jinga Uganda and acts as a mentor in the Law Society/Bar Council of Ireland Mentoring Scheme.

Extern in Northern Ireland
Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC105869
Company Registration No: NI 16083
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern in the Republic of Ireland
Company Registration No: 383201
Registered Charity Number: 20055318
Tel: +353 (0) 1 563 9402
Extern Group
Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC103226
Company No. NI 618684
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333
Extern Supporting Communities
Company No. NI 637561
Tel: +44 (0)28 9084 0555
Fax: +44 (0)28 9084 7333