New Parades Commission members

Once again the BBC pre-empts an official announcment, expected tomorrow, to report that the new Parades Commission Chairman, taking the place of Sir Anthony Holland, is to be Roger Poole, a former trade unionist who was involved in the formation of Unison. In addition they report that a former candidate for the Woman’s Coalition, Ann Monaghan, has also been appointed to the Commission, along with two other women, out of a total membership of six commissioners and a chairman. As the Press Association, via UTV, also report, one of the new commissioners is the former District Master of Portadown Orange Lodge, David Burrows
Also named as new members of the Parades Commission in the BBC report are –

Don McKay, who in the past stood as an Ulster Unionist for Craigavon Borough Council, has also been appointed, as has former SDLP MP Joe Hendron.

Which leaves 2 commissioners still to be named.

Update Vilma Patterson and Alison Scott-McKinley have also been appointed to the body.

And Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, has issued a statement – “I am particularly pleased that two people with personal understanding and experience of the Orange Order and the cultural importance of parades have been appointed to the Commission.”

Here are the brief biographies of the new commissioners, as provided by the NIO –

Brief summary of appointees’ career

Mr Roger Poole: Currently a director of Social Enterprise London and Business Link for London. He is also a visiting fellow at Warwick University.

Roger Poole has had a long career in Trade Union movement and was the former Assistant General Secretary of NUPE and of UNISON. He was responsible for national negotiations in the NHS, Local Government, Water Industry and Higher Education. The public face of the ambulance dispute of 1989/90, he was the Chief Union negotiator and frequently appeared on the media. He was one of the senior trade union officials responsible for negotiating the terms of the merger between NUPE, COHSE and NALGO to create UNISON. In 1999 he joined the team which had been established by the Prime Minister to look at the future of the Co-operative movement.

Mr David Burrows: In engineering management for the past 10 years. He was also a district officer for Portadown LOL No.1 for over 10 years and served as District Master resigning in July 2005. He has a certificate in marshalling and was involved in Drumcree negotiations over the years.

Dr Joe Hendron: A GP for 40 years, Dr Hendron was an SDLP MP for West Belfast, from 1992-97. As an MLA, he chaired the Assembly’s Health and Social Services Committee. He visited North Korea in 1998 as part of a Trocaire charity delegation looking at famine.

Mr Donald MacKay: A senior fire officer in the Fire Service for 26 years. Mr MacKay was also a local councillor in Craigavon for four years (1993-97). He is a member of the Royal Black and Orange Institution (member of Portadown ex-servicemens Orange Lodge). Mr MacKay holds a variety of personnel and management qualifications from a BA (Hons) in Business Studies through to an MA in Human Resources.

Ms Anne Monaghan: A Community Relations Manager in the University of Ulster since 2001. She has an MA in Peace and Conflict studies from University of Notre Dame, Indiana and an LLB in law and politics from Queen’s University Belfast. She is now an Independent member for Belfast’s District Policing Partnership.

Mrs Vilma Patterson: Has spent 20 years as the Finance and Administration Director at a company called John G Duff (Annadale) Ltd, a sports ground contractor. She is currently a member of the Independent Monitoring Board for HMP Maghaberry (for nine years) and Chair of Northern Ireland Association of members of Independent Monitoring Board (for three years). She is also the former Chair of the Women in Business Network.

Mrs Alison Scott-McKinley: Currently employed as Urban Area Development Officer in the Magherafelt area since 2004. She was previously employed by Portadown YMCA as a Family Youth Work Development Worker. Formerly an independent member of Magherafelt District Policing Partnership from 2002-05, she has also been a Lay Magistrate since 2005.

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