CCBS Welcomes New Team Members
Posted On: 12 Dec 2022
The Centre for Cross Border Studies is delighted to welcome two new additions to the team. Eileen Weir is joining the CCBS Board and Caitriona Mullan has joined as a Senior Research Associate. Both Eileen and Caitriona have been engaged in work to build cooperation on and between these islands; Eileen in community development work in Belfast and Caitriona as a specialist and facilitator of governance and corporate leadership for collaborative and transboundary working. We’re delighted that they will be bringing their experience and insights to benefit the work of the Centre. You can read more about them below.
Welcome Eileen and Caitriona!
Eileen is a well-respected community development practitioner with extensive experience in building community capacity, supporting community cohesion and strategic community development. Eileen has project managed the design, implementation, and evaluation of a broad range of community development programmes.
Eileen has been involved in community development practice for most of her working life, using a Community Development approach in her community relations work, with the aim of empowering communities to identify their needs and to be pro-active in addressing these needs. By using this approach, a sense of ownership is secured.
Eileen is currently employed by Shankill Women’s Centre as the Greater North Belfast Women’s Network Co-Ordinator funded by the Community Relations Council and TEO/North Belfast Good Relations Programme. She has also worked to establish neighbourhood networks to enable the groups to meet, share information and build capacity.
Eileen also works within West Belfast with a wide range of community organisations and women’s group and is currently working towards creating a West Belfast Women’s Network.
Throughout her work Eileen has undertaken training needs analyses. This process entailed organising focus groups of users to discuss what they felt were their own personal ambitions in terms of education and training and matching these to available resources or finding other resources to meet needs.
Eileen is also a fully qualified STEPS practitioner, accredited by the Pacific Institute. STEPS is a personal development programme delivered in a group setting with a qualified facilitator who helps participants to co-create their learning through interactive discussions and personal reflection, whilst utilising a wide variety of learning styles. Eileen has delivered the programme to a wide range of groups across Belfast, including Rathcoole.
Eileen’s unbiased approach through her community development work has helped her to reach out to various communities and build relationships and networks throughout the Island of Ireland.
In 2018 Eileen received two prestigious awards the first presented by CRC Community Relations Council “Exceptional Achievement Award” and the second the “McCluskey Civil Rights Award” for her role in Human Rights, Civil Rights and Peace Building activities
An independent specialist and facilitator of governance and corporate leadership for collaborative and transboundary working, Caitriona’s work ranges across the EU and beyond its external borders. Caitriona’s current portfolio includes the role of ICLRD facilitator for the North West Strategic Growth Partnership, a unique interjurisdictional partnership for cross-border territorial co-operation in the North West of Ireland/Northern Ireland. She also holds expert roles with the Council of Europe’s Centre of Expertise for Good Governance (including capacity building for cross-border co-operation in the Western Balkans) and with the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR). Her recent work with AEBR includes ongoing work with regional and national authorities across EU Member States, in brokering implementation of case study recommendations from the DG REGIO B-Solutions initiative, which focuses on solving legal and administrative barriers to cross-border co-operation across the EU; the 2022 DG SANTE Study on Cross-Border Patient Mobility published as part of the evaluation of the EU Directive on the Rights of Patients in Cross-Border Healthcare; and ongoing liaison with AEBR’s Ukrainian stakeholders. Caitriona’s current policy, research and advisory work is also informed by more than two decades’ hands-on public sector collaborative working and change management experience in Ireland and Northern Ireland and on a cross-border basis, gained variously in executive and non-executive roles the local government, health and social care, and higher education sectors. Her early career as a graduate of University of Dublin, Trinity College, included a policy advisor role with the Government of Ireland during the mid-1990s, followed by social and economic development consultancy in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and planning and delivering EU cross-border programmes in the Central Border Region. Her postgraduate research focused on the diplomatic role of the Irish Government in the early stages of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Publications in 2022 include the AEBR/DG SANTE Study on Cross Border Patient Mobility in Selected EU Regions, NESC Research Paper no. 25 ‘Exploring Shared Opportunities in the North West’, contributions to the Journal of European Planning Studies and a range of policy position papers in the public domain. Caitriona is a native of Derry/Londonderry, and a mother.
Find out more about the rest of the CCBS team here.