Reappointment of six non-executive members to the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

Date published: 19 April 2024

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced the reappointment of six Non-Executive Members to the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS).

Bonnie Anley, Hilary Singleton, and Lindsey Smith have been reappointed as Non-Executive (Lay) Members. Jonathan Craig and Thomas O’Hanlon have been reappointed as Non-Executive (District Councillor) Members. Jim Quinn has been reappointed as a Non-Executive (Trade Union) Member. All six reappointments commenced on 1 April 2024 and will end on a date not later than 31 March 2028.

NIFRS Non-Executive Member positions require a time commitment of 3 days per month and attract a remuneration of £6,643 per annum.

These appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland.

NIFRS protects and serves the entire population of NI, an area of over 5,500 square miles, providing them with a range of fire and rescue services. Under the 2006 Order, the Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010, and the Fire and Rescue Services (Emergencies) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011, NIFRS responds to fires, road traffic collisions and other emergencies including chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incidents, search and rescue incidents, serious flooding and serious transport incidents. A range of community engagement initiatives are provided to help reduce risk and keep people safe from the dangers of fire and other types of incidents that they respond to. NIFRS has 68 Fire Stations across NI utilising a variety of crewing models using Whole-time, On-Call and Volunteer Firefighters.

The Board of NIFRS comprises the Chief Fire and Rescue Officer, a Non-Executive Chair and ten other Non-Executive Members (four of whom are District Councillors) appointed by the Department.

Notes to editors: 

1. Bonnie Anley holds an MA from Trinity College Dublin and an MSc from Queens University Belfast. She is a Fellow and committee member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and an accredited Chartered Director of the IoD, Northern Ireland Committee. She has been a Member of the Broadcasting Council with the BBC, Council Member with the Irish Ships Agents’ Association, Board Member with Southern Group Enterprises, Board Member for Warrenpoint Harbour Authority, Board Member Friends of the Earth Trust and Chairperson of Friends of the Earth Limited (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), Chairperson of the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service, and Chairperson of Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners. Bonnie is also a committee member of the Public Sector Chairs’ Forum. She holds one other public appointment as the Chairperson to Department for Communities’ NI Libraries. This role is remunerated at £12,858 per annum and has a time commitment of 30 days per annum.    

2. Hilary Singleton OBE is a former practising solicitor who spent her professional career in private practice. She is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast. and she currently holds two other public appointments: as a member of the Local Government Staff Commission, which is remunerated at a daily rate of £126 with a time commitment of 18 days per annum; and as Vice Chair of the Department for Economys' Southern Regional College’s Governing Body which is remunerated at £250 for Governing Body meetings and £150 for Committee meetings and has an average time commitment of one day per month. Hilary was awarded an OBE for services to the Community Sector in her role as Board member of the International Fund for Ireland.

3. Lindsey Smith is a retired senior manager in the public sector with a background in Human Resources, organisational improvement, and transformation. She is a member of the NIFRS Audit Committee and Chair of the People and Culture Committee.

4. Jonathan Craig is a councillor on Lisburn Castlereagh City Council and is a former Mayor of Lisburn City Council and a former MLA for Lagan Valley. He is Chair of the Board of Governors of Laurelhill Community College and a member of the Board of Governors of Seymourhill Primary School. He is also a political representative on the Board of the NI Education Authority. As part of his Council duties, he also Chairs the Lisburn Castlereagh Peace Plus Partnership and sits on the Planning Committee and the Audit committee of the Council. Jonathan currently holds one other public appointment: as a member of the Board of the Northern Ireland Police Fund. This position is non-remunerated, with a time commitment of one day per month.

5. Thomas O’Hanlon is an SDLP Councillor on Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and is a former Mayor of Armagh. He has been a Non-Executive Member of the NIFRS since April 2020 is currently Chairperson of the Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Culture Steering Committee. Previously he served on the Probation Board for Northern Ireland. Thomas is Chair of The Appleby Trust, which is a Social Enterprise working with young people with Autism and Learning Disabilities operating several supported employment programmes across Armagh, Banbridge and Lurgan. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors of Clea Primary School, Darkley Primary School, and St Peter’s Primary School, Collegeland.

6. Jim Quinn is employed by NIFRS as a Station Commander at its Headquarters in Lisburn. He is also the Northern Ireland Executive Council Member for the Fire Brigades Union which represents uniformed members of the Fire Service throughout the UK and he is an elected member of the Northern Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions which is the representative body for Northern Ireland. Jim was previously a non-executive Director of Lisburn Local Strategy Partnership.

7. Appointments to NIFRS are made with the approval of the Department of Health.

8. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Jonathan Craig has declared that he has undertaken political activity for the DUP and Thomas O’Hanlon has declared that he has undertaken political activity for the SDLP.

9. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email

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11. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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