Devlin Appointed NIFRS As Non-Executive Board Member

Appointment of two Non-Executive District Councillor Members to the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service

NI Health Minister Robin Swann has announced the appointment of two Non-Executive Members to the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS).

Councillors Laura Devlin (Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Mournes) and Cathal Mallaghan (Mid Ulster Council) have both been appointed as Non-Executive Members.

Their appointments will commence on 9 April 2024 and will end on a date not later than 8 April 2028.  

Previously on Newry Mourne and Down District Council Cllr Cadogan Enright (Alliance) was nominated as a non-executive board member and has now served his time in that post.

Mournes Councillor Laura Devlin has been appointed as a non-executive director to the board of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

NIFRS Non-Executive Member positions require a time commitment of three days per month and attract a remuneration of £6,643 per annum. 

Councillor Laura Devlin has been a District Councillor on Newry Mourne and Down District Council since 2013.

She has been a member of the SDLP since 1999 and has worked for the party on a full-time basis for over 20 years.

Councillor Devlin is the party’s spokesperson on Tourism and Hospitality and the current Group Leader on Council.

She served as chairperson of the council in the first year of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

She also works for Colin McGrath MLA in South Down as his Constituency Manager.

Given that fires in the Mournes has been a prominent issue in recent years, Cllr Devlin will be keen to keep an eye on fire prevention and responding to fires that occur through the dry summer months that can cause severe damage to this sensitive environment.


These appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland.

NIFRS protects and serves the entire population of Northern Ireland, an area of over 5,500 square miles providing them with a range of fire and rescue services.

Under the 2006 Order, the Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010, and the Fire and Rescue Services (Emergencies) Order (Northern Ireland) 2011, NIFRS has a number of responsibilities.

It must respond to fires, road traffic collisions and other emergencies including chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incidents, search and rescue incidents, serious flooding and serious transport incidents.

A range of community engagement initiatives are provided to help reduce risk and keep people safe from the dangers of fire and other types of incidents that they respond to.

NIFRS has 68 Fire Stations across NI utilising a variety of crewing models using Whole-time, On-Call and Volunteer Firefighters.

The Board of NIFRS comprises the Chief Fire and Rescue Officer, a Non-Executive Chair and 10 other Non-Executive Members.

Four of the councillors whom are District Councillors appointed by the Department.