Eamon O’Donnell has been elected as the new Chair of Pharmacy Forum NI, the professional leadership body which represents pharmacists in Northern Ireland. The decision was taken at the Forum Board’s last meeting held 11 November 2021.

Eamon (pictured) has been a member of the Forum Board since 2019 and was elected Vice-Chair in 2020, a move which saw him assume chairmanship of the organisation’s Policy & Practice Committee (PPC), which leads on advocacy for the profession and NI pharmacy patients.

Throughout 2021, on top of an already extraordinarily intense period for pharmacy due to the pandemic, Eamon has led the PPC response to an unprecedented number of stakeholder consultations. He has also championed the Forum’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) 2020/21 agenda and activity, which has involved the establishment of an EDI Working Group that produced a three-part webinar series which raised awareness and understanding of racism, gender and disabilities, aiming to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion within the NI pharmacy profession.

Speaking of the appointment, outgoing Chair, Sheelin McKeagney, who has been instrumental in leading the Forum over the past five years, said:

“It has been a pleasure to have served as Chair of Pharmacy Forum NI. I am immensely proud of my profession but it is the people behind it who make it and I have been fortunate, through my role with the Forum, to have met and worked with a vast network of incredible pharmacists and associated healthcare colleagues.”

“I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to the Forum Board, Committees and Special Interest Groups who have supported me throughout my tenure. I remain an elected Board member but I am confidently handing over the reins to Eamon, who I have no doubt will ensure we remain responsive and representative of our great profession.”

On taking up the position, the new Chair, Eamon O’Donnell, commented:

“On behalf of Pharmacy Forum NI, I would like to thank Sheelin for his leadership and inspiration over the last number of years. During the pandemic, Sheelin has been a strong advocate for the profession and we are grateful for the work he has done and continues to do to advance pharmacy in Northern Ireland.”

“I am honoured to take up the position of Chair of the Forum. The profession is evolving at phenomenal pace and is doing so during an unusually challenging time that has seen pharmacists play a critical role within the health service in its handling of the pandemic. As the delivery of health services continues to develop, I will serve the profession as a passionate proponent for pharmacy and the pharmacists who work every day, putting their patients at the heart of everything they do.”

The 11 November meeting also saw the appointment of a new Vice-Chair, Dr Oisín Kavanagh. Following an apprenticeship to the Forum Board, Oisín joined as an elected member in 2021. After completing his MPharm in 2016, Oisín worked as a locum in community pharmacies across NI and ROI. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2019 and subsequently completed his PhD in 2020. Oisín sits on the Forum’s Education & Research Committee.

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Notes to Editors

  • Pharmacy Forum NI is the professional leadership body for pharmacists in Northern Ireland, representing all sections of pharmacy practice including community, GP, hospital, industry and academia. We represent over 2,800 registered pharmacists and provide services additionally to almost 150 pharmacy Foundation Year pharmacists. 
  • Forum Board Chair, Vice-Chair & outgoing Chair biographies: pfni.org.uk/about-us/board
  • Contact Róisín Hughes: Roisin.Hughes@psni.org.uk