Management Committee Members

Kevin Doherty is CEO of Disability Action and was Director of Services for 8 years prior to that.  He is responsible for all Disability Action’s services to disabled people including; transport, mobility, employment and training support, access, information and advice services and the Centre on Human Rights.  Kevin is also a Board Member of the UK Coalition of Disabled People based in London.

Aideen Gilmore is Senior Program Officer on the Training, Technical Assistance and Networking Team in the International Budget Partnership, based in Washington DC.  In this role, she contributes to building the capacity of civil society organisations around the world who are engaged in budget analysis and advocacy with a view to reducing poverty and inequality, and improving governance.  Prior to this, she was an independent consultant working on issues of human rights, equality and justice and carried out research, policy analysis, evaluation, and strategic thinking for a range of international and domestic human rights organisations.  Aideen was previously Deputy Director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) where she was responsible for leading and developing CAJ’s policy and advocacy strategy in its four key areas of work – equality, protection of rights, policing and criminal justice.  She represented the human rights sector on the Bill of Rights Forum and has testified on human rights in Northern Ireland to the US Congress, Oireachtas, UK Parliament, Scottish parliament and United Nation.  Aideen also previously worked in the Human Rights Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, where she was a member of the Irish Government’s delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.

Ken Humphrey was until recently, the Regional Training and Development Officer with the Northern Ireland Churches Community Alliance which works to draw churches together to address needs in disadvantaged contexts.  For twenty years, he led an inner city Belfast Project dedicated to addressing socio-economic disadvantage and inter-community division.  He has served in a number of area- and region-wide agencies committed to the ideals of social justice and reconciliation including, for instance; South Belfast Partnership Board, Inner South Belfast  Neighbourhood Partnership Board, Educational Shakespeare Company, Public Achievement, and Social Justice Network. 

Gerard McCartan (Chair) is a founding member of the PPR’s Belfast Mental Health Rights Group.  Gerard lost his son Danny to suicide in April 2005.  Gerard is a butcher by trade and has spent many years campaigning for improvements to mental health services in Northern Ireland.  Following his son’s death Gerard campaigned for an independent review into the public service failures surrounding Danny’s death.  The McCartan Review was the biggest inquiry into Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services ever undertaken in Northern Ireland.  Gerard was a member of the PPR delegation that successfully lobbied the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in May 2009. 

Judy Walsh is Director of Graduate Programmes at the University College Dublin School of Social Justice.  She teaches several modules on the School's Master of Science programme in Equality Studies and has undertaken commissioned research for a range of domestic and international human rights bodies.  Judy has considerable experience of the NGO sector having worked as Assistant Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), continuing on with the ICCL as a Co-Chairperson.  Judy has also engaged in training and policy work with numerous other human rights organisations including the Women's Human Rights Alliance, SOLID (Strategies on Litigation Tackling Discrimination in EU Countries), the Equality and Rights Alliance and MarriagEquality.

Thomas Mahaffey joined the committee in January 2016.  He is Head of Organsing and Development at UNISON.

Maggie Beirne (co-opted member) – Worked for Amnesty International (1971-1988) which involved research but primarily work on developing campaigning and membership worldwide.  After a return to study (BA Hons followed by an MSSc in Irish politics at Queens), Maggie moved to Belfast and, after several consultancies, worked with the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) from 1995-2008.  She is now retired and is based in London.  Maggie, in her CAJ role, was closely involved with the conception of the Participation and Practice of Rights Project in the mid 90s/ early 2000s and is delighted to become involved once again in its innovative and important work.