Extension of appointments to the Board of Libraries NI

Date published: 19 January 2023

The Department for Communities has announced an extension to the second term of appointment of the Chair of Libraries NI, Prof Bernard Cullen, from 1 May 2023 to 31 October 2023. He has served as Chair since 1 November 2014.

Extension of appointments to the Board of Libraries NI - Picture shows boardroom desk and chairs

The second term of appointment for the following three Members of the Libraries NI Board have also been extended from 1 January 2023 to 30 June 2023:

  • Mrs Deirdre Kenny
  • Mr Harry Reid
  • Dr Margaret Ward

All three members have served on the Board since 1 March 2014. 

The primary duty of the Northern Ireland Library Authority (known as Libraries NI), as set down in the Libraries Act (Northern Ireland) 2008, is to provide a comprehensive and efficient public Library service for persons living, working or studying in Northern Ireland.

Notes to editors: 

1.  Libraries NI is an arm’s-length body of the Department for Communities. The Libraries NI Board normally comprises a Chair and up to 18 Members.

2.  Details of appointments: The Chair position receives remuneration of £12,000 per annum plus travel and subsistence allowances in line with Northern Ireland Civil Service rates. The Member position receives remuneration of £3,030 per annum plus travel and subsistence allowances in line with Northern Ireland Civil Service rates.

3.  Biographies of Chair and Members

  • Prof Bernard Cullen is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast, a Training Fellow of the Institute of Psychoanalysis (London) and Director of Training of the Northern Ireland Psychoanalytic Society. He is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Parkanaur Residential College. A former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Queen’s, he has also been Chair of the Staff Commission for Education and Library Boards, a member of the Public Service Commission, Vice-President of the Belfast & District Trades Union Council, Chair of the Board of the Workers’ Educational Association (NI), founding Chair of the Crescent Arts Centre, President of the Irish Philosophical Society, President of the Irish Association for Cultural, Economic and Social Relations, Philosophy Consultant to the European Science Foundation Project on Social Justice, and Chair of the Ethics Committee of the British Confederation of Psychotherapists. Prof Cullen holds no other public appointments.
  • Mrs Deirdre Kenny was previously Director of Corporate Services, Director of Health Development and Director of Road Safety and Vehicle Regulation in various government departments. Since June 2019 she has been a member of the Board of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig for which there is no remuneration. She has experience of gender equality and anti-discrimination issues, and also brings governance and financial responsibility skills to the Board. Mrs Kenny holds no other public appointments.
  • Mr Harry Reid is a freelance writer and communications skills trainer. He previously worked in a range of public affairs roles for a spectrum of charities and public sector organisations. He brings marketing and business planning skills to the Board, as well as public speaking experience. Mr Reid holds no other public appointments.
  • Dr Margaret Ward was Chief Executive of the Women’s Resource and Development Agency until her retirement. She is a Board Member of National Museums NI for which she receives expenses only. She brings experience of equality and social inclusion issues, as well as strategic planning skills to the Board. Dr Ward holds no other public appointments.

4.  CPANI Code of Practice & Political Activity: These appointment extensions have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s (CPA NI) Code of Practice. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, CPA NI requires the political activity of appointees to be published. All four individuals have declared no political activity in the last five years.

5.  For media queries contact the Department for Communities press office via email at press.office

6.  Follow us on Twitter @CommunitiesNI

7.  The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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