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Board Members

Paddy Harte


Mr Harte has been a member of the Board of the International Fund for Ireland since March 2015 and was appointed Chairman in March 2019. He has more than two decades of experience and expertise in economic development and peace-building work.

Paddy is a UCD business graduate and is currently a management consultant focusing on strategic, economic and social development in disadvantaged communities. Previously, he was Joint-Programme Director of the cross-border MSc in Innovation and Leadership in the Public Sector, delivered jointly between Ulster University and Letterkenny Institute of Technology (IT), and is a  former lecturer in Leadership and Change at Letterkenny IT.

He is a former Board Member of the cross-border finance company Ulster Community Investment Trust (now Community Finance Ireland) and the Collins Institute think-tank. He has served on the boards of a number of economic development boards including chairing the very successful Donegal Gathering. He has also worked as a leadership coach with a coalition of cross-party MLAs at the William J Clinton Leadership Institute, Belfast. He is a past recipient of The Donegal People of the Year Award for his work with communities and has been nominated for this award several times.

Bernie Butler

Board Member

Mrs Butler is a successful business person in the Food sector, as the CEO and one of the founder members of the family run business Good4U with sites in Sligo and Tyrone. Bernie has been at the cutting edge of the food industry for the past 30 yrs. She sold her former family food business to Kerry Foods in 1995 and successfully negotiated the buyback of the Sligo based factory in 2014.

In addition to being a Board Member of the International Fund for Ireland, Bernie serves her local community as a member of the Sligo Economic Forum.

Bernie takes an active role in promoting business and the economic prosperity of her local community, the Sligo area. Other positions held by Bernie include: Chair of Fáilte Ireland North West, Chair of The Model, Sligo, one of Ireland’s leading contemporary arts centres and well known art collections, Member of the Creative Sligo Initiative, and Board Member of St Angela’s Food Technology Centre Sligo. Bernie has also been a past recipient of the accolade Sligo Business ‘Person of The Year’ award.

Bernie was appointed to the Board of the International Fund for Ireland in March 2019.

Avila Kilmurray

Board Member

Mrs Kilmurray has a strong background in peace building and reconciliation. As a founding member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, she was involved in negotiations for the Good Friday Agreement. Currently, Avila is a Programme Manager with The Social Change Initiative, an international NGO working to strengthen civil society activism and advocacy in human rights and peacebuilding.

In the area of community development and conflict transformation, for 21 years Avila was the Director of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, she also acted as Regional Coordinator of the Rural Action Project (NI) and was Development Officer with the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action. Avila has significant experience in the Trade Union sector, having served on Amalgamated Transport & General Workers’ Union and held key positions in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

Avila is a member of the Working Group on Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace.  She is a founder member of the Foundations for Peace Network - a peer learning network of independent foundations working in conflict-affected environments.  Avila has written extensively on peacebuilding, community development and the women's movement.'

Avila was appointed to the Board of the International Fund for Ireland in March 2019.

Allen McAdam

Board Member

 Mr McAdam is a UCD Agricultural Science graduate, rural development consultant, entrepreneur and part-time farmer in County Monaghan. He is recognised as an experienced and influential advisor in the field of rural and local development in the border region and has previously held management positions with Lakeland Dairies, Terralift Fertilisers, DCI Energy and Cavan Monaghan LEADER.

Allen is a current Board Member of the Ulster Scots Agency and a former national Chairman of the Irish LEADER Network and represented Ireland for several years at EU monitoring committee level. He holds several voluntary and community roles and is currently a Trustee of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, board member Monaghan County Enterprise Fund and Monaghan Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Appraisals Committee.

National Secondary Education Committee, Monaghan County Enterprise Fund and Monaghan Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Appraisals Committee.

Alan was appointed to the Board of the International Fund for Ireland in March 2015.

Sadie Ward McDermott

Board Member

Mrs Ward McDermott has been working in Education and Training for over 25 years. Sadie started her career as a teacher and then took a post with the Louth VEC (Vocational Education Committee) working as an Adult Education Officer.

Sadie is currently employed as Director of Further Education and Training with the Louth Meath Education and Training Board. This work encompasses working in partnership with other agencies, to deliver peace programmes alongside provision on behalf of Government in the following areas: Adult and Community education, Programmes targeting young persons not engaged in Education/Training, Training to enable up-skilling of current workforce, Supporting Employers to grow skills development in company, and Further Education Colleges.

Sadie is a mother of five and lives in Dundalk, Co Louth. Her interests include working with the local GAA ladies football team and gardening. Sadie is an alumna of NUI Maynooth and Trinity College Dublin.

Sadie was appointed to the Board of the International Fund for Ireland in March 2019.

Peter Osborne

Board Member

Mr Osborne has been involved in political engagement, policy, participation, dispute resolution and reconciliation for over 25 years. He leads Rubicon undertaking a number and range of audits, strategies, mediations and planning.

Peter is chair of the regional board of Remembering Srebrenica and a member of its UK Board; and chairs the ARK Advisory Board, a joint social policy initiative by Northern Ireland’s two universities (QUB and UU).

Peter was an elected representative for 12 years during which time he was a delegate to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation and to the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement process.

He was a director of Extern and Extern Ireland and was a Northern Ireland Board Member of the BIG Lottery Fund.

Peter founded the social enterprise, Landmark East; was a director of the Building Change Trust; led the founding of the Open Government Network; chaired the Community Relations Council and chaired the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland.

Hilary Singleton

Board Member

A Solicitor by background, Mrs Singleton has a strong interest in Cultural Development and Education and has been a Director of Mid-Armagh Community Network since its formation in 1998. Hilary is currently Deputy Chair of the Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland, Chair of HSENI's Audit and Risk Management Committee and a member of the Local Government Staff Commission. She previously served as a Board member of the Ulster-Scots Agency, where she Chaired both the Agency's Education Committee and Audit and Risk Committee, and she is a former School Governor.

Hilary has taken an active role in promoting community-led economic regeneration. As a former Chair of the Southern Zone Steering Group of the Social Investment Fund, she led a multi-disciplinary team in the development of a Strategic Area Plan for the Zone which addressed issues of poverty, deprivation, unemployment and physical dereliction in areas of identified need and for which £8.5 million was subsequently allocated by the Northern Ireland Executive.

Hilary spent her professional career as a legal practitioner in private practice and has a particular interest in Employment Law. She is a graduate of Queen's University, Belfast and lives in Markethill in County Armagh.

Hilary was appointed to the Board of the International Fund for Ireland in March 2015.

For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.

Belfast Office

International Fund for Ireland
Seatem House
28-32 Alfred St.

+44 (0)28 9031 2884

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Dublin 2

+353 1 408 2130

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