Our Board Members
Our Board Members
Our Board of Directors plays an important role in supporting and advising the direction of the organisation. The dedicated group of experts in areas such as leadership, communication, policy, and finance volunteer their time to set the strategic direction of the organisation and oversee its implementation and governance.
The Board of BeLonG To won the prestigious ‘Board of the Year Award 2020’ at the Charities Excellences Awards.
Nikki Gallagher, Chairperson
Nikki Gallagher, Head of Corporate Affairs at the National Lottery is Chairperson of the Board.
Nikki brings with her an impressive track record in Governance, Public Affairs and Communications and a strong commitment to advancing the rights and welfare of children. Nikki has been a member of the Board of BeLonG To for two years. Her previous roles include Director of Communications & Secretariat at SOLAS, Senior Communications Manager at the Ombudsman for Children’s Office and Press Officer for Fine Gael.
Ciaran McKinney, Deputy Chairperson
Ciarán McKinney is Manager of the Engage programme, promoting Lifelong Learning and Active Citizenship at Age & Opportunity.
Ciarán’s career has focused on influencing policy development and/or delivering services to meet the needs of groups often distinguished by the experience of social exclusion. Many of these roles involved challenging public misconceptions about these groups of service users including people living with HIV, sex workers, lesbian, gay and bisexual people and IV drug users. Communication and dialogue with service users and promoting participation and empowerment have been key elements in most roles.
Maria Afontsenko, Treasurer
Maria Afontsenko is a Senior Manager in the Financial Services Assurance department at Ernst & Young Chartered Accountants and Statutory Audit Firm. Maria is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and has extensive financial services experience and expertise, particularly around risk management, corporate governance and internal financial controls. Maria is a proud member of the LGBTI+ community and has been a longstanding supporter of BeLonG To through various CSR initiatives at EY.
Dr. Maurice Devlin
Maurice Devlin is Professor and Head of the Department of Applied Social Studies at Maynooth University, where he is also Jean Monnet Chair in European Youth Studies. A former youth worker, he has researched and published widely in youth work, youth policy and the sociology of youth.
Dominic Hannigan has been a Non-Executive Director of BeLonG To for the past seven years. A civil engineer by profession, he has served as a Senator and as a TD in the Irish Parliament.
Liz Harper has over 30 years of experience working with young people and youth services. She managed youth training projects in Tallaght for over 10 years and subsequently has supported many locally based management groups and provided external supervision for youth workers in a number of settings. Liz holds an MSc in Equality Studies from UCD.
Kery Mullaly is a well-known antique dealer and is also Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Events Management Company Fundfest, which works with a variety of festivals, charities, and not-for-profit organisations. A long-time advocate for LGBTI+ rights, he has been pivotally involved in the delivery of the Cork LGBT Pride Festival for the past eight years.
Lucy Ní Raghaill
Lucy is a tenured Human Resouces/ Recruiting professional, with experience across start-ups, small to medium and multinational enterprises. She is currently working as EMEA Head of Recruiting for a Multinational SaaS company.