Board of Trustees
Belfast Pride is the biggest LGBTQIA+ Festival on the island of Ireland and packs in over 150 events across ten days. Belfast Pride is a major community effort – thousands of volunteer hours go in to making Pride happen. Team Pride brings together a diverse team to manage and deliver the festival. The Board and Festival Committee are supported by a larger volunteer team alongside contractors and artists who all come together to give the LGBTQIA+ community in Belfast the biggest platform of the year to make a stand for equality and celebrate our lives and culture.
To find out how you can play your part and join Team Pride, go to our Team Pride page to see current opportunities.
John O’Doherty (He/Him)
Originally from Maghera, Co. Derry, but has been living in Belfast for most of his adult life. John joined the Board of Belfast Pride in 2021 and has a keen interest in finance, governance and community engagement. John has been an LGBTQIA+ activist for two decades and is currently the Director of The Rainbow Project in Northern Ireland.
Cara McCann (She/Her)
Cara is from West Belfast and has a degree in Sociology and a Masters degree in Gender Studies. She is the director of HERe NI. Cara has many years’ experience in the community development field and is Chairperson of a youth organisation and has also taught Sociology, Social Policy and Gender studies at Queen’s University. Cara is mum of a son, lives in Belfast with her wife, dogs and cat. In her spare time she loves to play guitar, harp, sing and read.
Gerard McAtamney (He/Him)
Gerard has been involved with Belfast Pride for over a decade now. Whether it be waving at the crowds off a float dressed in some guise or other in the actual Parade itself in the early years, or more recently from 2015 actually managing it along with the Team. At this stage there is very little he does not know about the organisation and what makes its heartbeat.
Gerard has worked tirelessly over the years to grow and expand Belfast Pride and is looking forward to seeing it reach its full potential.
Adam Murray (He/Him)
Adam brings 14 years of experience working for the LGBTQIA+ community, having held diverse administrative, financial, and project delivery roles over the years. Adam currently works in Cara-Friend as their Community Development Manager. Adam is looking forward to playing a role in making Belfast Pride the best it can be.
Kirsty Mulholland (She/Her)
Kirsty was co-chair of the Bank of Ireland’s staff LGBTQIA+ network from 2020-2022 and a founding committee member of FuSIoN NI – the Financial Services Inclusion Network. She has spoken publicly about her transition on numerous occasions, including BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio 4 Extra. She has also presented to senior corporate representatives on the importance of trans inclusion in the workplace and has assisted some of those organisations in developing their own workplace transition policies. She was featured on the OUTstanding LGBTQIA+ Global Role Model lists for 2020 and 2021 in the 100 Future Leaders category.
Neil Millar-McDonagh (He/Him)
Craig Kirkwood (He/Him)
Co-Vice Chair and Parade Manager
Lynn Millar (She/Her)
“Hi I’m Lynn, a wife, mother of 2 and a grandmother. My work background was in Social Care, but having had to step down, I found myself with time to fill and having been an LGBTQIA+ ally my whole adult life, when I saw an opportunity to get involved with Belfast Pride I grasped it. I’ve been a Volunteer with Pride for quite a while. This is my 8th year and 1st year as Volunteer Coordinator and Trustee. Becoming involved was one of the best decisions I’ve made. It’s challenging, fulfilling and a little crazy at times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world”.
Mark O’Kane (He/Him)
Mark looks forward to making a valued and impactful contribution to Belfast Pride, having newly joined the board of trustees. Mark is a programme manager with the Centre for Effective Services; working with public sector and community & voluntary organisations to help them deliver supports and services to citizens across Ireland.
Leigh Lyle-Toal (She/Her)
Leigh started as a dancer in her teens and early twenties. She studied Youth Work and worked in that industry for a few years. She then trained in makeup and opened makeup academy NI offering OCN accredited courses. She now works as a Property Manager. Leigh has a mindfulness (MBSR) diploma and is a meditation teacher helping people with chronic conditions, depression, mental health issues and guiding others how to live in a more mindfulness way. Leigh is living with Multiple Sclerosis and is a Mindfulness & Meditation Instructor & Practitioner.
Annette Whelan (She/Her)
Annette has over 16 years’ information security experience in the global finance sector. She has led LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) both locally and globally and is committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) within the workplace. Outside of her day job, Annette is co-chair of the Working With Pride (WWP) network – a network of Corporate Pride workplace resource groups in the north of Ireland. Having taken up the position of Belfast Pride Trustee she said, ”I am so proud to be given an opportunity to be part of the biggest LGBTQ+ festival on the island of Ireland. I am whole-heartedly looking forward to working with this team and watching Belfast Pride as it continues to grow and thrive”.
Paul Bloomer (He/They)
Paul has served in the Police Service of Northern Ireland since 2010, performing several different roles, ranging from Emergency Response officer, Court Liaison officer to his current role as a trainer in the Police College. Paul was the first PSNI officer to march in uniform at any Pride event, Manchester Pride in 2015, and this was a transformative moment for Paul who felt empowered and enriched by the positive experience. He returned to his home service with a powerful desire for change. He successfully lobbied for and carried out the first participation of Northern Ireland Police Officers in Uniform in Belfast Pride. He has served as the Co-Chair of the PSNI LGBT+ Network, leading the network to be one of the most visible LGBT+ staff networks in Northern Ireland. He has driven substantive change within the Police Service improving inclusion for LGBT+ Officers and staff within the service. Paul has also served four years as the communications lead for LGBT+ Police UK. Paul was raised by parents from a mixed Catholic and Protestant backgrounds. They instilled in him a deep respect for diversity and raised him to embrace all aspects of his heritage, while respecting the heritage of others, and this gave Paul a strong desire for public service and social justice. On joining Belfast Pride Paul said, “I’m delighted to come on board. Belfast Pride isn’t just the largest LGBTQIA+ festival on the island, its also the largest cross community festival in Northern Ireland. I know that all of us are determined to continue to develop the festival, so that it may continue to platform the voices of our community, empower each other and help raise up all communities of Northern Ireland, together”.