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Board Members

Laurence Arbuckle – Chairperson

Laurence Arbuckle is currently employed by the North-West Regional College. He previously worked for 18 years in sustainable energy with Bryson Energy and Foyle Regional Energy Agency and has a strong interest in conservation and the environment. Laurence previously served as a Loughs Agency Board Member between 2012 and 2017, serving as Chairperson during his term.

Andrew Duncan – Vice-Chairperson

Andrew is a self-employed auctioneer, based in Mullingar.  He has had a lifelong interest in fisheries and is a keen and accomplished angler. He has represented Ireland on numerous occasions, captaining his country in the Home Nations event in 2008.

Philomena Mahon

Mrs Philomena (Phil) Mahon worked in Northern Ireland’s Health Service for over 40 years as a nurse, midwife and health visitor. She has 20 years’ experience as an Executive Director of Healthcare with an Executive Board role. Phil also had line management responsibility for a multidisciplinary staffing complement of 1,500 and a budget of £40 million. Since her retirement, she has held a variety of posts including: board member of Derry Well Woman, 2010-present; Chair of First Housing Aid Support Services, 2011-present; board member of the Loughs Agency, Dec 2011-Dec 2016; Chair of the Loughs Agency Audit Committee, 2012-present; member of the Shantallow Community Partnership Board (Surestart); reappointed to Loughs Agency Board in December 2016. Phil’s husband, Joe, is one of Northern Ireland’s best-known broadcasters.

Terry McWilliams

Terry McWilliams was an elected member of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council representing the Lurgan District Electoral Area. He was a member of four of the Council’s standing committees: Planning & Regulatory Services, Environmental Services, Community Planning, and Governance, Resources and Strategy.  Terry is a businessman in his local area.

Allan Ewart MBE

Allan has been a member of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council since 2015. He is a member of the Council’s Corporate Services, Capital Projects and Development committees. He was a member of Lisburn City Council from 2005-2015 and Mayor of from 2009-2010. Director Lagan Rural Partnership (Local Action Group). Director Lisburn Enterprise Organisation. Employed Democratic Unionist Party. Member NILGA.

Fiona Walsh

Fiona has extensive experience in the technology, education and healthcare sectors. Fiona currently serves as non-executive Director to five organisations and consults in venture capital. Fiona was appointed as chairperson to one organisation and is also a member of four Audit and Risk Committees. Fiona has a Higher Diploma in Corporate Governance and an MBA from INSEAD. 

Ian McCrea

Ian was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly from 2007 to 2016. During that period he served on a number of its committees including Agriculture and Environment. He was a member of Cookstown District Council from 2001 to 2013. Ian was appointed as a member of the Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition (FICT) Commission in July 2016.

Patrick Gibbons

Donegal man, Patrick Gibbons, is a native of Glenfinn which overlooks the River Finn. After gradutating from NUI Galway with a First in Irish and History, he began working with Donegal County Council. Patrick later took up postgraduate studies in law, qualifying as a solicitor in 1996. He spent 15 years in senior executive management roles in leading international financial services companies, eventually becoming an independent non-executive director. Patrick serves on boards of directors in financial services, the State sector and on voluntary boards. He also serves on audit and risk committees. A common theme of his career is helping organisations adapt to modern governance, compliance and risk management culture.

Alastair Patterson

Alastair is a senior quantity surveyor, with over 20 years’ experience in the construction industry in Northern Ireland and the United Arab Emirates. He has his own practice, APQS Services, based in his home town, Castlederg in Tyrone. Alastair is a former MLA for Fermanagh & South Tyrone and while in the Assembly served on its Environment Committee. He is a parish reader and leads worship in the Church of Ireland. Alastair is a former member of the famous Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band, with which he won four World Championships. Now, as a results of his expertise, he is a Drum Major Adjudicator during the summer months or ‘band season’. Alastair’s wife, Olga, is a licensee and Chair of Hospitality Ulster.

Heather Mackey

Heather founded the Galway-based public relations company, Ace Media, in 2009. Since then, her business has gone from strength to strength. Heather currently works as a publicist for many arts organisations in Galway, including the Galway Film Fleadh, Cuirt International Literature Festival, TULCA Festival of Visual Arts and Blue Teapot Theatre Company. Heather had previously worked as a TV producer for Bloomberg Television in London. She also works as a media lecturer and holds a Master’s in Journalism from NUI, Galway.

Michael McCormick – profile pending


Following the Government’s advice in relation to COVID-19, Loughs Agency has put in place a number of measures to maximise our capacity to continue to deliver our services as best we can.