Who we are


Claire Keatinge, Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland

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Claire Keatinge is the first Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, a role established under the Commissioner for Older People Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 following a strong campaign from older people.

Prior to her appointment as Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Claire was Director of the Alzheimer's Society in Northern Ireland and was responsible and accountable for services, external affairs and promoting the rights of people with dementia. Claire is also a previous Director (Community Development and Health) for Age Concern in Northern Ireland and was responsible for leading health promotion and public health work with older people through community development.

In her role as Commissioner for Older People, Claire champions the rights and interests of older people throughout Northern Ireland and speaks with a strong voice on the positive contribution older people make to our society, and on the issues and problems they face.

Her vision is that "Northern Ireland is a great place to age" and her mission is "To be an authoritative and independent champion who safeguards and promotes the interests of older people."


The Commissioner has developed priorities for action to focus her work, and these are based on what older people, and those who work with them, say matter most to them. These priorities for action are detailed in the Corporate Plan 2013-2015 'Hope, Confidence and Certainty'.


Evelyn Hoy, Chief Executive

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Evelyn Hoy was appointed Chief Executive to the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland in September 2013, after joining the office in June 2012 as Head of Operations. Formerly a civil servant, Evelyn headed up the Good Relations Policy Unit in the Office of the First and deputy First Minister after previously working within the Victims and Survivors Commission, and Gender and Equality Unit. Prior to OFMdFM, she spent 15 years working for the Department of the Environment. 


Emer Boyle, Head of Legal and Policy Advice

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Emer Boyle joined COPNI in 2014 following more than 12 years in local government in Belfast City Council. In the Council, Emer was Policy and Business Development Manager for over six years and prior to that role, she worked in a number of positions including Legal Policy Officer and Business Improvement Consultant.

Emer has a primary degree in Law, a Masters in Business and various Management and Leadership qualifications.