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Meet the Board

Norman Richardson


Norman has been involved in educational community relations in Northern Ireland over the whole of his career, first as a teacher in post-primary and primary schools, then as a Peace Education Officer in an inter-church project, and most recently in teacher education.  As a lecturer at Stranmillis University College, he has taught inclusive religious education and intercultural education and has been responsible for the cross-college Diversity and Mutual Understanding programme in co-operation with St. Mary’s University College.

His other interests and involvements include inter-faith relations and many musical activities.
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Lawrence Patterson


As Principal of Antrim Primary School Lawrence brought team CRIS on board to assist with School and Staff Development. When he retired after 39 years in the teaching profession the opportunity to become a CRIS Board Member and Trustee was happily accepted in 2014. Lawrence took over the role of Honorary Treasurer in 2017.
He has continued to be directly involved in Primary Education as Chair of the Board of Governors in Old Warren Primary School, Lisburn. 
He is an Independent Chair/ Member of Appeal Tribunals for the Education Authority. He is an Independent Member of Appeals Committees for CCEA. The Lord Chief Justice endorsed his appointments to Committees within the Bar of NI and the Solicitors of NI.
Lawrence is a proud husband, father, and grandfather and enjoys a game of Golf at Dunmurry when he can find the time.


Aithne Kerrigan

Board Member

Aithne joined the CRIS board in 2020 bringing expertise from the local education sector. 
She currently teaches at Ashfield Boys' High School.

Patricia O'Neill

Vice Chair

Patricia has worked in community relations as a volunteer and full-time worker for most of her adult life. During her time at the Community Relations Council she was seconded to the North Belfast Community Action Unit as CR Manager. On her return to NICRC she went back to my job as Communications Manager, producing a monthly online publication, managing the website and social media, and gathering updates from our grant schemes.
Patricia loves walking and photography, combining the two travelling in Ireland and farther afield.

Conor O'Neill


Conor is a Senior Manager in EY's Financial Service Consulting Practice and specialises in governance, risk and compliance services along with transformational change for clients in the Financial Services industry across multiple jurisdictions.

Conor has worked in both London and Dublin whilst supporting clients and teams across Europe.

Conor has experience of coaching and mentoring across different levels.
Conor holds qualifications in Project Management in addition to qualifications in leadership and development. His Bachelor of Science is held in Business Economics.
Conor has a keen interest in behavioral management and the role people play in organisations and has taken part in guest lecture series at the University of Ulster on the subject matter.
Conor is an experienced MC and has hosted several large scale events for a variety of sectors.

Ben Craig

Board Member

Ben is an innovator, entrepreneur and sustainable business management consultant. His consultancy company provides services to support the development of sustainable businesses. He has worked across the public, private and charitable sectors, as a youth worker, a consultant for sustainable change, and a founder growing a business to international acclaim.

Outside of work, he is a passionate foodie, muso, surfer, and daddy daycare enthusiast!

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