Appointment of six, and re-appointment of two Council Members to The Pharmaceutical Society Of NI

Date published: 16 September 2016

Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill today announced the appointment of six new council members (four Registered Persons and two Lay) along with the re-appointment of two existing Lay members to the Pharmaceutical Society of NI for a four year period from 1 October 2016 – 30 September 2020.

The four new Registered Persons are Ms Colleen Duffy, Mr Ciaran Byrne, Ms Eleanor Magennis and Miss Laura Murphy.

The two new Lay members are Mr Mark Campbell and Professor Patrick Murphy. The two existing council Lay members being re-appointed are Mr Ciaran Hunter and Mr James Perry.

The Pharmaceutical Society of NI Council consists of 14 Non-Executive Members – seven registered persons and seven lay members. 

Registered Person: is a person registered with the Pharmaceutical Society of NI as a pharmaceutical chemist or druggist.

Lay Member: is a person who is not and has never been a registered person; and does not hold qualifications which would entitle him/her to apply for registration under the Pharmacy (NI) Order 1976.

All members have been appointed with the approval of the Minister for Health. 

Council members are remunerated by an attendance fee, summarised as follows:

Position Meetings up to four hours duration Meetings over four hours duration Training and induction days (any length)

Council Member




The procedure for these appointments is not bound by the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for NI; however the appointment process was carried out in the ‘spirit of the Code’.

The Pharmaceutical Society of NI was established by the Pharmacy and Poisons Act (NI) 1925, and has been based at 73 University Street, Belfast since 1933.

It is the regulatory and professional body for pharmacists in the north.  It maintains a register of over 2300 pharmacists, 210 pre-registration trainees and over 500 pharmacy premises across the country.

As the regulatory body it protects patient and public safety by:

  • setting and promoting standards for pharmacists' admission to the register and for remaining on the register
  • maintaining a publicly accessible register of pharmacists, and pharmacy premises
  • handling concerns about the Fitness to Practise of registrants, acting as a complaints portal and taking action to protect the public
  • ensuring high standards of education and training for pharmacists in the north.

Notes to editors: 

1. Ms Colleen Duffy - qualified as a pharmacist from Queen's University of Belfast in 2005 and went straight into a community pharmacy manager role. She has now been a Boots pharmacy store manager for the past 8 years. In 2011 she was a finalist for the pharmacy in focus 'Young community pharmacist of the year.' In 2014 she was awarded the NI healthcare award for 'Managing substance misuse in the community,' owing to her work with a local addiction charity, HURT and addiction services in the area.

2. Mr Ciaran Byrne – qualified as a pharmacist in 2006 and works for Pharmacy Plus pharmacies as a pharmacy manager with further responsibilities in training and extended services. Ciaran is the current pharmacy representative on the Northern Local Commissioning Group on the HSCB and is an active member of the Prescribing Efficiency Review Team. Ciaran is a current member of the policy and practice committee of the Pharmacy Forum NI and is the pharmacy representative on the Chronic Pain Forum NI.

3. Miss Eleanor Magennis graduated from Queen’s University Belfast and has since worked as a Branch Manager and a Relief Pharmacy Manager across the north and also in the Isle of Man.  She was able to fulfil these management roles at such an early stage in her career by participating in Project Management and First Line Managers courses during her Pre-registration year, developing leadership and interpersonal skills.  In the future Eleanor hopes to modernise and improve the future of pharmacy through her role on the Pharmaceutical Council.

4. Ms Laura Murphy graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2005 and qualified as a pharmacist in 2006.  Laura has worked as a locum community pharmacist for a number of Independent and large multiple stores. Laura worked as a Practice Pharmacist for two Belfast Surgeries from 2007 to 2010. In 2012 she won the Pharmacy and GP Partnership NI Healthcare award for promoting more successful relationships with the GP and Local pharmacies within the locality she worked and she sat on the Primary Care Partnership for North Down and Ards as the Pharmacist Lead from 2011 - 2013. Laura currently is as a Pharmacy Manager for Boots Pharmacy in Lisburn.

5. Mr Mark Campbell is a qualified social worker registered with the Social Care Council (NI) with over 30yrs experience in residential and fieldwork. He established, led and managed the Psychiatry of Old Age Team in North Down and Ards 1994-1999 implementing Community Care reforms before appointment to Newry where he managed and further developed dementia services in Down and South Armagh. Mark worked in care regulation as an inspector with Eastern Health and Social Services Board and Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority from 2001-2012 during which time he was awarded an MBA in Health and Social Care Management. In 2012 he was appointed Head of Regulation and Inspection by the Isle of Man Government. In 2015 he was appointed to judicial office as an Experienced Member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for NI.

6. Professor Patrick Murphy. In a career spanning more than 40 years in education, Patrick Murphy has worked at every level of learning from nursery to university, in teaching, management or governance.  A specialist in public sector decision-making and policy formulation, he was Director of Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education for seven years.   In recent times he has served on a number of public bodies across a wide range of areas, including education, health, heritage, agri-food, science and local government.  His major contribution in these areas has been in finance and audit.  He is currently a member of the Board of the Agri-food and Biosciences Institute and he chairs the NI Medical Research Ethics Committee (REC B).

7. Mr Ciaran Hunter   Ciaran is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years’ experience in professional practice and industry. Since 2009 he has been Chief Executive of Arran Capital a corporate finance boutique focused in active investment in high growth businesses. He is an active member of HALO the Business Angel Network and Chair of Arran Angels investment group. Ciaran is active in a number of local charities including being honorary treasurer of the Linenhall Library and Dickens 2012, as well as chairing Inspire. In addition he has been an active supporter in the establishment of Parkrun Ireland.

8. Mr James Perry is a Chartered Accountant who has held senior management positions in NIE/Viridian and in the Tourist Board (NI). He is currently Chair of the Social Care Council (NI) which is a Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) responsible for the regulation of social workers and social care workers. He also chairs the Board of Ulster Supported Employment Ltd which, as an NDPB, provides, promotes and supports employment opportunities for people with disabilities. He has been a lay member of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society for the last four years.

9. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. All appointees have declared they have not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

10. Media enquiries to DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0579. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthserviceni

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