Industrial Court public appointments and extensions - pen pictures


Sarah Havlin

Sarah Havlin is a solicitor by profession with an extensive background in employment law and relations, particularly in collective disputes and trade union affairs, and 15 years of experience in both regulation and in judicial and quasi-judicial roles. For ten years she was the Certification Officer of Northern Ireland, the statutory regulator of trade unions and employer associations with judicial functions. She is also a former Chairman of the Agricultural Wages Board, a statutory collective bargaining authority setting terms and conditions of pay for agricultural workers.

Sarah has also acted in a variety of other roles at senior level of government including as Independent Advisor to the Minister on the setting of terms and conditions of remuneration and schemes of allowance for elected local government representatives. Since 2019, Sarah has been the Deputy Chairman of the Central Arbitration Committee in London (The Industrial Court of Great Britain). She also sits as a Tribunal Chairman in several other formal inquisitorial processes including the Exceptional Circumstances Tribunal (Education) the Independent Review of Decisions Panel (Agriculture) and previously she sat as a Parades Commissioner for Northern Ireland for seven years.

Sarah also has specialist expertise in electoral law and policy in Northern Ireland and has served both as Local Government Boundary Commissioner for Northern Ireland and as Parliamentary Boundary Commissioner for Northern Ireland, and she has led and delivered several complex Inquiries and Reviews in the context of electoral boundaries to both the Stormont Assembly and the Westminster Parliament between 2008 and 2023.

In 2022, Sarah was commissioned by the Scottish Government in its preparation of the Tied Pubs (Scotland) Bill, as Shadow Scottish Pubs Code Adjudicator; a policy initiative to bring regulation, fairness and transparency to the commercial working relationship between pub owning companies and tied tenants in Scotland. As well as her professional legal career, Sarah has spent several years as an associate lecturer in Law with the Open University and as a visiting tutor at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queens University, Belfast. She is accredited in advanced advocacy by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the National Institute of Trial Advocates, an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Fellow of the Irish Institute of Boston College, Massachusetts.

Philip O’Rawe

Philip has extensive employee and industrial relations experience, having been a representative in Prospect and its predecessor union Connect for over 30 years. He has undertaken a very large amount of union work at local, national and international levels and has 15 years’ service on his union’s National Executive Committee.

Philip is a chartered IT professional and holds a first class honours BSc in Computer Science from Queen’s University Belfast. Until 2020 he was an IT Manager in BT, where he accrued extensive experience in strategy, governance, regulation, operations, software design/development and people management. Now a freelance IT Consulcant, he also undertakes extensive voluntary work, including serving as honorary treasurer and trustee of a local arts charity.

He holds no other public appointments.

Geraldine Alexander

Geraldine is a senior trade union official with the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA). She has over 30 years’ experience representing the interests of members employed in the civil and public services, including the voluntary and community sector. Geraldine is currently the strategic lead on policy in the key specialist areas of equality, human rights, social affairs and health and safety. She holds a first class honours degree in Management and Business Studies. A former board member and deputy Chairperson of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland.  Geraldine is currently a board member of the Labour Relations Agency (remuneration £5,643 per annum).

Sinéad Sharpe

Sinéad is currently group human resources director for Staffline Recruitment Ireland and has held strategic HR and leadership positions across a significant number of industries throughout her career. She has more than twenty years’ experience serving in both public and private sectors including healthcare; financial services; construction; manufacturing and food Manufacturing; security; facilities management and professional recruitment services. Her work has included complex change management; multi-national business acquisitions and alternative dispute resolution processes. She has designed and led leadership; graduate and in-house apprenticeship development programmes, resulting in regional and UK awards.

A graduate of Queens University Belfast, Sinéad holds an LL.B  in Law with Politics in addition to an MSc in Communication, Training and Development. She has conducted extensive research into the dynamics of trust in workplace relations. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD).

Sinéad has previously served on the board of a third sector organisation, including chairing their remuneration committee. She is a qualified volunteer helm and navigator for her local RNLI station. As a business mentor for the Women in Business, QUB Women in Law and the CIPD NI mentoring programmes, she is committed to supporting the advancement of female leaders. In 2023, she was named as a finalist in the Advancing Diversity in the Workplace category of the Women in Business NI Awards.

She holds no other public appointments.

Damien McQuillan

Damien is a Chartered Civil Engineer and a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Management Services. He began his civil engineering career with Durban City Engineer’s Department, South Africa, before returning to Northern Ireland to join a local civil engineering contractor and then moving on to join Roads Service in 1986.

Damien is currently Head of the Department for Infrastructure’s in house highway maintenance direct labour organisation, a role he has enjoyed for over 10 years. He has many years of experience in collective bargaining and managing industrial relations issues pertaining to a large workforce.

He holds no other public appointments.


Barbara Martin

Barbara Martin was a respiratory physiology manager for the Belfast NHS Trust for over 30 years, writing a number of textbooks for healthcare professionals during this time. She had been an active trades union representative for professional and technical grades, for many of these years.

Barbara retired from the NHS in 2007 after a bout of ill health - she continued in a trades union role, representing the UK as one of their delegates to the Luxembourg Committee. This committee worked as part of the European Community Social Partnership to build EU health and safety legislation.

Barbara accepted a Ministerial appointment and was appointed during 2000 -2008, as a member of the H&S Executive (Northern Ireland) Board of Directors.

Barbara remains an accredited TUC tutor and teaches a number of trades union courses, including health and safety, disability champions in the workplace, and understanding mental health issues at work.

Barbara has four grown-up children and six grandchildren.

She holds no other public appointments.

Robin Bell

Robin has over 30 years’ experience working in industrial relations in Ireland and the UK.

He served as Honorary Secretary of the Bank Officials union and a member of its National Executive.

Robin was a director of the AIB UK pension schemes and a volunteer advisor for the pensions advisory service.

Robin was elected to the Board of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees in 2018 and remains in this position (non-remunerated).

He holds no other public appointments.

Pat Masterson

Pat has been a panel member of the Industrial Court since 2011. He was appointed as a representative with an employer background. He retired from active employment in 2018 after a lengthy career initially in human resource management within the telecoms industry. In the final years of his career, he took on the role of a human resources consultant engaged by a range of public, private and voluntary sector organisations on change management programmes and dealing with employee relations issues.

During his employment within industry, he had been an active participant within CBI Northern Ireland, chairing the Employment Affairs Committee of that body for five years.

He is also a Trustee Director of the Nortel Pension Plan since 2007 and will remain in in this role whilst that plan goes through stages to wind up, a process that is anticipated to be completed in 2024.

He holds no other public appointments.

Miss Patricia O’Callaghan 

Patricia was a registered nurse with over forty years’ experience in healthcare. She was Director of Nursing and Clinical Effectiveness at the former Green Park Health Care Trust and, prior to her retirement, Patricia was Director of Head and Skeletal Services at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. She holds an MBA with Health Service Specialism and a post graduate certificate in labour law.

After retirement she served as a Board Member with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) and was a member of RQIA’s Audit Committee and the appointment panel for Part 2 and Second opinion doctors. (April 2013-June 2020)

She served two terms as an independent member of the Agricultural Wages Board for the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs. (April 2015-March 2023)

Patricia was first appointed to the Industrial Court in December 2011.

She holds no other public appointments.

Back to top