The SOAR (ABC) comprises 25 board members. This is made up of 13 Social Partners and 12 Elected Members. The Councillors represent the four main political parties present in the Council. The social partners represent the main strands of rural civic society (business & enterprise, farming and community) and have experience/knowledge of rural development.

Councillor Gareth Wilson

Councillor Lavelle McIlrath

Councillor Mark Baxter


Alderman Jim Speers

Councillor Kyle Savage

Councillor Sam Nicholson



Councillor Eamon McNeill

Councillor Declan McAlinden

Sinn Fein:

Councillor Darren McNally

Councillor Brona Haughey

Councillor Paul Duffy


Councillor Peter Lavery

Name (Representative Sector)


Vacant (Business / Enterprise / Farm)
Kathleen Kelly (Business / Enterprise / Farm)
Brendan McCann (Business / Enterprise / Farm
Mary Loughran (Business / Enterprise / Farm)
David McMullan (Community)
Dr Charles Neville (Community)


David Kerr (Community)
George Patton (Community)


Erin Hamilton (Business / Enterprise / Farm)
Roisin McAliskey (Community)
Bryan Mc Laughlin (Community)
Vacant (Community)
Vacant (Community)

SOAR (ABC) have 182 Local Action Group members for the area. Being part of the wider LAG gives members:

  • Timely and relevant access to information on the Rural Development Programme locally
  • Provide opportunities to shape your local rural development plan and help to address rural poverty, create jobs and develop the services your local area needs
  • Stimulate ideas for local development and provide a wider network of contacts
  • Enable members to stand for Board elections and/or provide access to your Local Action Group Board
  • Be part of a bigger movement of rural development interests locally, nationally and internationally

SOAR (ABC) will open periodically to encourage new members.

The following staff are available to assist you in your dealings with SOAR:

Programme Manager – Elaine Cullen
Deputy Programme Manager – Maria Magennis
Project Officer – Louise Lamont (Armagh)
Project Officer – Emma O’Carroll
Project Officer – Stephanie Palmer (Banbridge)
Project Officer – Arlene Robertson
Claims and Verification Officer – Allison Reilly
Administration Officer – Marjorie Mitchell

* All staff are based in Craigavon Civic Centre except where stated otherwise.

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