Staff / Board


  • Alan Kane

    Chief Executive

    I joined Craft NI as Chief Executive in September 2012.

    I am a Chartered Accountant living in Coleraine. I have been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland since 1982. After qualification, I worked as an audit manager and also spent 4 years as Financial Controller of an Investment company before leaving to set up my own business.

    I have extensive experience in setting up and running businesses in a variety of industries. I was Managing Partner of Joblink, the largest privately owned training company in Northern Ireland, from 1989 to 2004 and Managing Director of Provincewide Harley-Davidson from 1999 to 2012.

    I enjoy golf, motorcycling, travel, painting and collecting art.

  • Orla McGrady

    Finance and Project Officer

    I’ve been working at Craft NI since 2007. Key aspects of my role includes financial management, preparation of budgets and accounts; grant administration & reporting, office & operations management duties. I also hold responsibility for policy compliance and development, and the delivery of projects with the other team members, including Craft NI's Craft Map.

    With a strong background working in the arts including theatre, festivals and event production, I also hold a BA in English Literature, PgCert in Tourism & Cultural Management, and recently completed an MSc in Cultural Management.

    In my spare time you’ll find me out in nature, tending to my bees and walking our big dog, or attending arts events, relaxing with yoga, reading and travelling.

  • Meadhbh McIlgorm

    Project Officer

    Meadhbh McIlgorm joined us in January as our interim Project Officer to deliver existing projects to April 2017, and is looking forward to working with you.

    Meadhbh, from Dublin, studied glass design at the National College of Art and Design, graduating in 2013. She moved to NI in 2015 to complete a Masters in Arts Management in Queens University (First Class Honours). Meadhbh is also vice-chair of the Glass Society of Ireland.

  • Martin Bradley MBE

    Chair - Craft NI Board

    Martin Bradley MBE is from Londonderry and is Head of Health and Social Care Pension Service NI. He was appointed a Board member of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 1996 and served as Vice-Chair from 2003-07. He was a member of the Western Education and Library Board (1993-2001) and is currently Chair of UK City of Culture.

  • Julie Carse

    Craft NI Board Member

    Julie currently works in the Higher Education Sector supporting the Registrar and Chief Operating Officer of Queen’s University Belfast. Previously, for 14 years, Julie was a Business Improvement Project Manager in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Operational Effectiveness Team delivering successful business consulting projects in process and change across public and private sectors. Julie joined the Board of Craft NI in 2010.

  • Rachel Dickson

    Craft NI Board Member

    Rachel Dickson is Joint Course Director of BA Hons Contemporary Applied Arts, Belfast School of Art. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2002 with MA Ceramics and Glass. She is a practicing artist exploring ideas of memory through the medium of porcelain, paperclay and paper, and has exhibited throughout the UK, Ireland and North America. Rachel Dickson is a Distinguished Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of Applied Arts Ulster, and Irish Ceramics in Education.
  • Robert Martin

    Craft NI Board Member

    Robert Martin is the director and curator at R-Space Gallery CIC in Lisburn (2011- ). He studied Three Dimensional Design at De Montfort University 1979, specialising in Ceramics and Glass and ran his own glassmaking studio in England in the 1980s. He has lectured in art colleges and was a visual arts officer at Arts Council England (1997-2010) covering education, disability, cultural diversity, architecture and the craft sectors. He was part of the European network of the World Crafts Council and has worked in partnership with the Crafts Councils of England, Wales and Scotland as well as Craft Northern Ireland.
  • Kim Mawhinney

    Craft NI Board Member

    Kim was appointed Head of Art in 2009 at the National Museums Northern Ireland. She was Curator of Applied Art at the Ulster Museum for 15 years with responsibility for the glass, ceramic and furniture collections. Kim was a member of the Project Board for the redevelopment of the Ulster Museum, which reopened in October 2009. She currently sits on the main Board for the Art and Architecture Ireland, a cross-border major research publication. Throughout her career she has curated, juried and selected exhibitions, lectured and written about the history and development of museums, accessibility of art collections, glass and ceramics, both nationally and internationally.

  • René Mullin

    Craft NI Board Member

    René Mullin has 20 years’ experience in the design and craft sector. Her career began in graphic design in Scotland and has seen her return home to Ireland to set up and run both her own screen printing studio ‘Placed’ in 2009, and her own store Kiln and Loom in 2014 which offers a range of work from both Irish and International makers. René is a member of Belfast Print Workshop from where she originates her screens to work on projects within her design business, Placed. The focus of Placed is to explore the subject of Identity through illustration and typography. Her paper and textile work including her first illustrated children’s book, are available in shops and gallery shops all over Ireland. René enjoys both her own projects and those of the other designers and makers she regularly collaborates with. She loves craft and design and is delighted to be working with Craft NI to help secure the future of the sector in the north and explore its connectivity with its close neighbours and worldwide.
  • Rachel O’Neill

    Craft NI Board Member

    Northern Irish artist and designer Rachel O’Neill works at the interface between art and design using a variety of tactile materials to create wonderfully playful one-off Installations and limited edition pieces for corporate and private interiors and special events. After graduating from the University of Ulster’s School of Art and Design, Rachel has travelled the world producing work for an international client base from Belfast to New York creating commissions for private homes and commercial ventures such as restaurants and galleries. Rachel has created massive installations for Peugeot’s Flagship showrooms in both Paris and Berlin while also producing pieces for New York’s luxury 5th Avenue Store, Bergdorf Goodman.
  • Catherine Woods

    Craft NI Board Member

    Catherine studied Accountancy with French at Queen's University Belfast and is a member of ACCA. Catherine works as a Management Accountant in the outsourcing industry, and in her spare time enjoys running, cycling, photography and travel.