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, and 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
Chair of Extern Northern Ireland & Extern Group Vice-Chair


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 six 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.

Allen McCartney
Extern Ireland Treasurer/Director & Extern Group Director


Allen is by profession a Chartered Electrical Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology with degree qualifications in both electrical engineering and corporate leadership. He has had a distinguished career in Northern Ireland Electricity and Viridian Group. He is currently a self employed business consultant and a Lay Assessor for NI Medical and Dental Training Agency.

He is also an Independent Board Member of the Northern Ireland Legal Services Agency and Chair of its Audit and Risk Committee. He has formerly been a Non-executive Board Member of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, an Independent Board Member of the Department for Regional Development and a Board Member of East Belfast Mission.

In his spare time, he enjoys music, golf, travel and being a granddad.

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 and 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 in order to have the opportunity to fulfil their full potential in life.

Andrew McCloskey
Extern Ireland Director and Extern Supporting Communites Treasurer/Director


Andrew is a business professional with more than 20 years’ experience in global companies. After reading Economics and Computing at Queens University Andrew joined Nortel Networks, where he worked in the procurement, IT, and planning departments specialising in the use of technologies to enhance business performance.

A range of international assignments in performance management, contract assurance and supply chain operations followed a relocation to Canada. Andrew also holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Ulster and a Law Degree from the Open University. He is currently employed by Moy Park in Craigavon and is married with two children.

Kathy Martin
Extern Group Director/Secretary and Chair of Business Development Committee

Kathy joined BBC Northern Ireland as Head of Marketing, Communication & Audiences in March 2004. Based in Belfast, she manages a team of circa 33 which includes press, publicity, marketing, branding, playout & presentation, audience research, media planning and scheduling. Prior to joining BBC, Kathy worked for The National Trust, where she headed up a team responsible for marketing, communications and research, as well as income generation, membership development, community, learning and volunteer promotion.

Prior to working for The National Trust, Kathy worked across a range of marketing disciplines within consultancy (PricewaterhouseCoopers) as well as in an agency environment.

A graduate of European Business Studies and French, Kathy is committed to continuous professional development having achieved postgraduate diplomas in Marketing and Export Marketing and has held Chartered Marketer status since 1996. Kathy is former chair of Stepping Stones NI, a charity which supports people with learning disabilities and difficulties to achieve their potential.

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 (which built 16 houses and a community centre, shared with Tullamore Housing Association), Treasurer of Midlands Simon Community, Chairperson and Power4Good Ireland Ltd (a human rights project for people with a disability in Zambia).

Brendan Johnston MBE
Extern Northern Ireland, Extern Group Director & Chair of Audit & Risk Committee.

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.

Shane McCarthy
Extern Ireland Director

Shane holds a Masters in Criminology and is a practising solicitor and Notary Public based in Cork and Skibbereen. His practice (which he established in 2000) employs four others and is general in nature, except for sizeable workloads in the areas of refugee law and criminal law, with particular emphasis on the area of judicial review.

Shane’s main motivation in applying for Board Membership was to make a difference and to take proactive steps to break the cycle of offending, particularly among young people.

Shane is married to Sinead, who is also a solicitor and they have four young children. Sinead works in Cork City and the family lives in Clonakilty, Co. Cork.

He is a former member of the Garda Complaints Board (since 2002) as well as being a member of the Irish Parole Board since 2009. In addition, Shane is a current member of the Council of the Law Society of Ireland and also served as an independent member of the Regulatory Board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Shane is presently Chairman of the Standing Committee on Regulation for the Society of Chartered Surveyors in Ireland and Chairman of the Law Society of Ireland Committee for Human Rights.

He frequently delivers guest lectures to postgraduate law students at the Centre for Criminal Justice & Human Rights, University College Cork, and has published a series of academic articles on the issue of developing the concept of Restorative Justice in the Irish criminal justice system.

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.

Fionnuala Sheehan
Extern Ireland Company Secretary/Director

Fionnuala Sheehan's career spans the Civil Service (Department of Finance and Commission on Taxation), the Public Service (Funding Manager for the newly created Telecom Eireann and its capital investment company, Irish Telecommunications Investments Limited), the commercial sector (Group Treasurer of GPA Limited and its joint venture companies), higher education (Deputy Registrar/Director of Student Services, University of Limerick), the not for profit sector (Chief Executive of MEAS Limited/drinkaware.ie) and Chief Executive of FirstLight.

She has led many innovative, complex and change management initiatives in a variety of settings, has served on the boards of educational and cultural bodies and currently serves on the boards of RTE and its subsidiary companies.

Fionnuala has a particular interest in the area of education and behaviour change and a strong belief in the transformative potential of education. When working in higher education she played a key role in the development of policy and services supporting access to higher education by minority groups and led the development of a national framework for a college alcohol policy. She subsequently led the development and implementation of a range of initiatives at a national level designed to reduce alcohol-related harm, including the impactful and award-winning social marketing and communications programme delivered via the drinkaware.ie brand.

Fionnuala is a member of the Institute of Directors and completed the Certificate and Diploma in Company Direction. She holds BA and MA Degrees, both at first class level, and a Diploma in Applied Finance.

Married to Sean, they have two adult children.

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, and 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.

Conor Anderson
Extern Ireland Director

Conor is originally from Dublin but has settled in Cavan and has lived there since 2007 with his wife Sharon and three children. Conor has been involved in International Transport and Logistics for over 25 years now and has vast experience in all aspects of Transport Management, Warehouse Management, Outsource management and Freight & Warehouse Procurement. As Managing Director of Panalpina World Transport he opened their first office in Ireland in 1992 and within two years had over 35 people managing a book of business for a wide range of companies including Microsoft, Motorola and Hewlett Packard. While working very closely with each of these companies he was invited to join the Microsoft Logistics Council and worked with them while forming the global strategy for their overall business model.

Conor joined Microsoft as their new Logistics Manager and within two years he was Chairman of the Global Transportation Taskforce which managed a budget of over $450 million in transport and warehouse logistics. His final project in Microsoft was to fully outsource all aspects of the logistics function to a third party logistics provider. Once this project was completed a new challenge was waiting for Conor in ModusLink (MLNK) as the Director of Marketing and Logistics Solutions, where he worked with a number of blue chip companies in bringing new and innovative solutions to their supply chain.

In 2006, Conor established his own supply chain consultancy business and has continued to work with all of the large multi-national companies in helping them design and implement new supply chain and logistics solutions. Conor has a Supply Chain Management diploma and a Professional Diploma in International Trade and a BA Hons in Business Studies.

He is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and a Board Member of the Asia Trade Forum working with the Irish Exporter’s association and is an active member of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, where he meets and lobbies Government departments in all aspects of import and export requirements for its members.

Grainne Hassett
Extern Northern Ireland Director

Grainne Hassett completed a BA degree and postgraduate LLB degree in National University of Ireland, Galway. She qualified as a solicitor in 1996.  Her professional experience ranges across both private practice and as an in-house legal counsel for a number of financial institutions: Bank of Ireland, Friends First and Mercer.

Specialist areas where Grainne offers experience and expertise include banking and financial services, risk/governance advisory, commercial disputes and litigation, including regulatory investigations. She also has a well proven track record in general corporate and commercial transactions, with additional specialist experience in pensions law and practice.

Always keen to stay up to date professionally, Grainne has successfully completed Diplomas in Commercial Conveyancing and in Commercial Litigation with the Law Society of Ireland. She is an accredited CEDR Mediator with a strong interest in alternate dispute resolution.

Grainne is a member of the Irish Women’s Lawyers Association and participates in the Law Society/Bar Council Mentoring Programme.

Dr Mick Feehan
Extern Group and Extern Ireland Director

Mick is a native of Birr, County Offaly, but has lived in Dublin for most of his adult life.

Mick was a member of An Garda Síochána for 35 years. He retired from the Garda in 2012, when he served as Assistant Commissioner in the Dublin Region. He previously served as Director of the Garda National Juvenile Office where he was responsible for oversight of the Garda National Juvenile Diversion Programme and Garda Youth Diversion projects. Following his retirement from An Garda Síochána, Mick worked for four years as a member of the Executive Team at DAA (formerly Dublin Airport Authority). He currently works as a part-time lecturer in the Criminal Justice field and in corporate leadership training.

Mick holds an MSc in Criminal Justice Studies from the University of Portsmouth and an MBA (First Class Hons.) from the Smurfit School at UCD. He also holds a Doctorate in Governance from Queen's University Belfast.

Mick has worked for many years in a voluntary capacity with Special Olympics Ireland, where he is a member of its Board of Directors and Chair of its Eastern Regional Committee. He is also an avid hill walker and sea swimmer.