NIJAC welcomes the reappointment of Commissioners to serve as Lay Members

The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission (NIJAC) have welcomed the reappointment of three of their Commissioners to serve as Lay Members for a further two years.

The First Minister, Michelle O’Neill, MLA, and the deputy First Minister, Emma Little Pengelly, MLA, have reappointed Mr Colm Donaghy, Mrs Maureen Eccles and Mr Brian McTeggart for a 2-year term from 1 May 2024 to 30 April 2026. 

Mr Donaghy previously worked in the Health Service for 25 years and was a Chief Executive for 15 years from 2002 to 2017. In that time he led the development of the Northern Ireland Suicide Prevention Strategy - Protect Life. He was Director General of Co-operating and Working Together, 2003 to 2010, a collaborative coalition of public sector health service organisations north and south of the border. 

Mr Donaghy has held various Chief Executive posts in health service organisations including Southern Health and Social Services Board, Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Sussex Partnership Foundation HSS Trust. As Chief Executive Colm led a number of major change projects in hospital and community care. 

He retired in 2017 and is currently a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Simon Community Northern Ireland and carries out work for Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas as a Technical Expert in the area of healthcare development. 

Mrs Eccles has been involved in the field of education for over 30 years. As a former School Principal, her experience extends across the Nursery and Primary sectors. In her role as Principal, she led with strategic vision, scrutinising performance and managing people, resources and finance. She also has over 25 years’ experience in school governance as a Governor Trustee. In her roles as both Principal and Governor, she has been responsible for Recruitment and Selection of Staff. Mrs Eccles is currently serving as a Trustee on the Board of Governors of St Patrick’s Primary School Holywood. 

Mr. McTeggart has worked across the public sector at senior management levels, including 28 years in the NI Civil Service and with the business sector. He has extensive experience of organisational set-up, development and change management. He spent 12 years in the NI Industrial Development Board, on international investment, indigenous industry and trade development and on economic strategy in Department for the Economy. He was tasked with establishing the Headquarters of the largest North/South Body, Waterways Ireland, including procurement of buildings and recruitment of key staff and was subsequently Director of Corporate Services, in charge of strategy, business planning, finance, property/legal and development. In later years, he was responsible for Investment Strategy NI across the culture, arts and leisure sectors and as Secretary to the Ulster Scots Academy, he led its development, a 10-year strategy and corporate planning. 

Currently Mr McTeggart runs a holiday property management business with sites in France and is a member of the NI Catholic Council on Social Affairs (NICCOSA), for which no fees are payable. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors, the Chartered Management Institute and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. 

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. Mr Donaghy, Mrs Eccles or Mr McTeggart have not engaged in any political activity. 

Lay Members of the Commission are remunerated for their appointment. Current rates of remuneration are a daily rate of £338 or a half-day fee of £169 (4 hours or less).

The Commission is chaired by the Lady Chief Justice, the Right Honourable Dame Siobhan Keegan and 12 other members: five Judicial Members, five Lay Members and two Legal Members.