The Honourable
The Irish Society

Committed to serving the community


The Trustees of the Honourable the Irish Society are delighted to announce the appointment of Duane Farrell as Secretary & Chief Executive of the Society in succession to Edward  Montgomery MBE DL, who will retire after 28 years as the Society’s Representative and Secretary at the end of February 2024.

Duane is currently Chief Executive of Relate NI, the largest provider of relationship support in Northern Ireland and also serves as a Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and as trustee and treasurer of the Children’s Law Centre.  He was previously Charity Director of Age NI, having served in other leadership roles in the organisation (and with Help the Aged prior to the merger), and was also Director of the Rainbow Project.  Duane holds a number of qualifications from the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ulster University, and the Institute of Leadership & Management.

The Trustees are very much looking forward to Duane joining the Society on 1 November when he will enjoy a comprehensive handover period with Edward Montgomery, including meeting as many stakeholders as possible.

Governor of the Irish Society, Sir William Russell commented: “I’m very excited that Duane has agreed to join the Irish Society as we seek to broaden our reach into Northern Ireland’s diverse communities.  His background and experience will be invaluable”.

Deputy Governor of the Irish Society, Edward Lord OBE, said: “Duane brings wide experience of the voluntary sector across Northern Ireland, working with people from all communities and backgrounds. We are certain that he will add enormous value to the Society’s work funding charities, education, and community development activities in our area of benefit in Co. Londonderry and beyond”.

Duane Farrell added: “I am delighted to have the honour of taking forward the Society’s long-standing work in the years ahead, and building on the impressive legacy of Edward Montgomery. Having met with trustees through the recruitment process and since my appointment, I am impressed by their commitment to the charity’s values and purposes to serve all communities. I look forward to working alongside the board, staff team and the Society’s stakeholders to deliver an impactful plan focused on maximising the organisation’s relationships and assets to support people and communities right across the north-west”.