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Equality Commission welcomes appointment of new Commissioners

Equality Commission welcomes appointment of new Commissioners
Equality Commission welcomes appointment of new Commissioners

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has welcomed the appointment of four new Commissioners to its board by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Kris Hopkins MP.

The new Commissioners are Eileen Chan-Hu, Duane Farrell, Helen Ferguson and Jarlath Kearney and they will take up office on the 8th November.

Dr. Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission, said: “I welcome each of the four new Commissioners, as they take up the important task of promoting equality of opportunity and combating unlawful discrimination in Northern Ireland. The new Commissioners bring with them a wealth of experience and insight into life in Northern Ireland and this will be of great importance to the Commission over the period of their service.

I also wish to pay tribute to the four Commissioners who are leaving at the end of their term in office. They gave generously of their time and the Commission benefited greatly from their knowledge and contributions over the years. The level of professionalism and commitment shown by each of them has been second to none and they are to be commended for their public service.”

Dr. Wardlow concluded: “The Commission, with its new members and with the legacy left by those moving on, will continue its work to advance a more equal and shared society for everyone in Northern Ireland.”

New Appointments:

  • Eileen Chan-Hu is Executive Director of CRAICNI (Cultivate Respect, Appreciate Inclusion in Communities in Northern Ireland) and former Chief Executive of the Chinese Welfare Association in Northern Ireland. She has over 20 years of experience of working in the community and voluntary sector. Eileen stood at the local council elections in 2014 as a NI21 candidate.


  • Duane Farrell is currently Charity Director for Age NI and Chairperson of the Rainbow Project. He has over 20 years’ experience of working on LGB&T and older persons’ issues.


  • Helen Ferguson was a Director, Carers Northern Ireland, from 1994-2015. She has over 30 years’ experience of working in the community and voluntary sector.


  • Jarlath Kearney is a former Sinn Fein party member and Special Advisor to Minister for DCAL. He was previously a journalist and Chief Political Correspondent with the Belfast Media Group. He is a former member of the Community Relations Council and currently serves as a Board Member of the Arts Council NI.

Present Commissioners

  • Chief Commissioner: Dr. Michael Wardlow
  • Deputy Chief Commissioner: Rev. Dr. Lesley Carroll
  • Commissioners: Dr. Deborah Donnelly, Hazel Francey, William Gamble, Judith Gillespie, Tom Hartley, Geraldine McGahey, William McKee, Joseph McVey, Robin Mullan, David Rose.
  • Outgoing Commissioners: Fidelma Carolan, Milton Kerr QPM, Liam Maskey and Stephen McIlveen.


Further information is available on the Northern Ireland Office's website



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