Our People


Steering Committee

NIRN is managed and supported by a Steering Committee made up primarily of volunteers from the membership base and representatives from Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and Community Resources Network Ireland (CRNI)

The Steering Committee is responsible for ensuring that NIRN develops and supports a network of organisations across NI committed to fostering the growth of reuse and repair in this region.

The following outlines the current NIRN Steering Committee and the member organisations that they represent:


Méabh Austin – Development Manager, FareShare NI

After studying Politics at Queen’s University, Méabh spent a number of years working with the BBC, before focusing on community development work with Féile an Phobail, the West Belfast Festivals. Since 2010, Méabh has remained a committed player within the Voluntary and Community Sector, undertaking the development and strategic management of FareShare Northern Ireland, which is managed by Council for the Homeless NI regionally. With a genuine passion for food security, waste reduction and the protection of the environment, Méabh is a currently a member of the All Ireland Food Poverty Network, The Resurgam Trust Steering Committee and the Northern Ireland Resource Network.

Claire Downey

Claire Downey — National Executive, Community Resources Network Ireland

Claire is National Executive with Community Resources Network Ireland, an umbrella body representing community based reuse, repair and recycling organisations, funded by the EPA under the National Waste Prevention Programme. Responsible for supporting CRNI members and mainstreaming community reuse, repair and recycling through policy and research. Claire holds a Bachelor of Engineering (first class honours) degree and has over 15 years of experience in the waste and resources sector. She sits on the National Waste Prevention Committee, the National Waste Advisory Group, Vice President and board member of the RREUSE network Europe,  fellow with the Chartered Institute of Waste Management and board member of Green Foundation Ireland.

Marian Farrell

Marian Farrell — Chairperson, Zero Waste North West

Marian has been an active member of ZWNW since the beginning. She coordinated the Green Team at the Stendhal Festival 2017 – 2019 and was one of the team leading on the ZWNW  Enough Stuff Festivals in the same years. She is co-director of The Use Less Shop. Marian is looking forward to working with the other NIRN members in building the groundwork for re-use practice –  starting with the 2021 ZWNW Cloth Nappy Library.

Rachael Hook

Rachael Hook Environmental Policy Lead, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

Rachael has collaborated with CRNI (Community Resources Network Ireland ) on the development of a reuse and repair network in Northern Ireland since the initial feasibility study was undertaken in 2019. An advocate of sustainability and waste reduction, she is Policy Lead for Single Use Plastics, Waste Prevention and Recycling within DAERA and championed the removal of all single use plastic across all governmental departments in NI. Her upcoming projects include textiles, food waste and plastic pollution.

Chris McCartney

Chris McCartney — Cofounder and Organiser, Repair Cafe Belfast

After several years as a journalist and charity campaigner, in 2017 Chris established Repair Cafe Belfast, the first repair cafe in Northern Ireland. Since then she has supported the development and growth of other Repair Cafes across NI. A board member of Belfast Tool Library, she is passionate about the reuse and repair sector and excited to see people share stuff and skills and support community development. She advocates working with communities that bring people together and make it easier for us to live better and more sustainably.

Paul McGranaghan

Paul McGranaghan — Policy Advisor, Environmental Policy Division, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

Paul works within the Single-Use Plastic, Waste Prevention and Recycling Team DAERA with responsibility for recycling, resource efficiency and food waste prevention.

Anthea Owens

Anthea Owens – Recycling Education Officer, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

Anthea engages with householders, businesses, community groups and schools across the Fermanagh & Omagh District. Implementing and promoting recycling schemes through communications and promotions to enhance participation in kerbside recycling schemes, recycling centres and bring banks. She is actively engaged in waste reduction initiatives including lovefoodhatewaste, reusable nappy scheme, single use plastics and the Councils reuse scheme proactively working with local charities to uplift and extend the life of second hand furniture and paint reuse.

Michael Sloan

Michael Sloan — Area Manager, East Belfast Mission

For the past 5 years, Michael has overseen the management and development of East Belfast Mission – award winning social enterprise shops and supporting refurbishment workshops.

Joined CRNI (Community Resources Network Ireland ) in 2018-19, focused on the development of a reuse and repair network in Northern Ireland, targeted on maximising the volumes of bulky household material ,primarily furniture, bicycles and paint which could be saved from landfill.

Michael has significant experience of managing a multi-based team in the charity retail / social enterprise environment, and delivering action to increase reuse and repair across NI.

NIRN Staff

Eimear Montague — Northern Ireland Project Manager

Eimear is responsible for developing the Reuse & Repair Network in Northern Ireland to establish a membership base targeting community and third sector organisations. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science Degree in Law and Politics and was a founder and board member of Sustainable Building Solutions (SBS), which shaped the strategic direction of the Travis Perkins Group in the Sustainability Market. She sits on the Board of Rural Community Network (RCN), a group which promotes and supports the needs of the rural population in Northern Ireland and Techno Tyrone Ltd, an organisation which focuses on rural regeneration of Mid and West Tyrone and management and development of a community based business park.

Eimear can be contacted at info@ni-rn.com.

Eimear Montague