Tony McCusker, CRC Chair, said,
‘The Council is pleased to announce its new appointment of Jacqueline Irwin as Chief Executive. This comes at a key moment in the development of the Council and its work and against a background of the NI Executive’s discussions of a strategy to promote a shared society. We wish Jacqueline well in directing us through the period ahead.
Jacqueline Irwin has over 20 years experience in the voluntary sector working on the issues of community relations and youth justice, social welfare law and advice services, and voluntary and community development. Before taking up her post in CRC, she was seconded to the civil service for 3 years to develop services for refugees and those seeking asylum in Northern Ireland. During that time she also lead the initiative which established regional support services for those seeking asylum in England, Scotland and Wales, working in partnership with local authorities to promote social cohesion. She is a former Chair of Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action and in that capacity she was involved in a wide range of policy issues including the development of the first formal Compact between government and the voluntary sector. Since 2003 she has been Deputy Chief Executive at the Community Relations Council, becoming Acting Chief Executive in January this year on the departure of the previous CEO Duncan Morrow. Jacqueline is a doctoral researcher at the School of Governance, Queen’s University Belfast.
Jacqueline Irwin said,
‘I welcome this opportunity to build on the work already achieved by the Council and its previous CEO. No doubt there are many challenges ahead but I am confident that with the support of Council Members and staff, and in partnership with political representatives and the wider civic society we can build a future that celebrates our diversity while recognising our shared humanity and dependence on one another.’
The Community Relations Council was established in 1990 as an independent charity with the purpose of supporting and promoting community relations work at all levels within the community. It is the regional body for community relations within Northern Ireland, and an arm’s length body sponsored by OFMDFM. It champions change to achieve and maintain a shared and open society based on fairness, the celebration of diversity, and genuine reconciliation and interdependence.