The Governing Body of South West College is responsible for the effective and efficient management of the college, including its financial performance and the quality of its teaching, learning and assessment. It is comprised of committed Governors from a range of backgrounds who bring extensive experience and knowledge to their role as Governor. A pen picture of each Governor is provided in this section.

Minutes of Governing Body meetings are also provided as well as the Instrument of Government, Articles of Government and Standing Orders which outline the constitution, functions and procedures of the Governing Body.

Governance related enquiries or correspondence should be addressed to the Secretary to the Governing Body, Fiona McCauley at


Download Governing Body Minutes

Dr Nicholas O’Shiel
Dr Nicholas O’Shiel is Chief Executive of Omagh Enterprise Company and Chairman of Enterprise Northern Ireland, the network of 28 Local Enterprise Agencies in Northern Ireland. Former roles include President of Omagh Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of Omagh Local Strategy Partnership and Chairman of Omagh Business Forum Ltd. In recognition of his achievements, Dr O’Shiel is a recipient of the Queen’s Award for outstanding contribution to enterprise. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. He holds a Doctorate in Management from the Ulster University and Masters in Management from Trinity College, Dublin.

Dr O’Shiel has been Chair of the Governing Body of South West College since January 2019. He previously served as a Governor of South West College, and during his tenure served as Chair of the Education, Quality & Performance Committee and as a member of the Finance & General Purposes Committee.
Chief Executive
Mr Michael McAlister
Michael McAlister has been Chief Executive of South West College since September 2017.  He joined the FE Sector in 1987 as a lecturer in the Built Environment and since then has held a number of senior roles within South West College, and the former Omagh College, including Deputy Chief Executive, Deputy Director for Curriculum and Business Development and Head of Technology Department.

Prior to working in the Education sector, Mr McAlister worked in the Construction Industry and is a Chartered Construction Engineer, a Chartered Project Manager and a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers.  He is a member of the Institute of Knowledge Exchange and the Chartered Institute of Building.  He has served on a number of sectoral bodies related to the development of Foundation Degree models and is a former Chair of the Board of the Regional Support Centre for Northern Ireland.
Business, Industry and Professional
Mr Peter Archdale
Mr Peter Archdale served in the Royal Navy until his retirement in 2006, during which time his service took him all over the world.  He has had extensive involvement in wildlife and conservation issues and has served as Vice Chair of the Ulster Wildlife Trust and as a board member of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts.  He is currently a board member of Camphill Community Trust Northern Ireland, the Strule River and Tributaries River Trust and Ulster Wildlife.

Mr Archdale has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since August 2012.
Mrs Margaret Martin
Margaret Martin has spent all of her professional life in education and was Principal of St Catherine’s College for 15 years.  She has served on many educational bodies including the Post-Primary Review Working Party, the BBC Education Councils NI & UK, the Council of CCEA, the Area-Based Planning Strategy Group and the Review of Home to School Transport.  She is a trustee of Gaelscoil Aodh Rua, Dungannon and consultant to Gaelcholáiste Dhoire.

Mrs Martin is currently the Network Co-ordinator for Sacred Heart Schools and Chair of Mount Anville Education Trust.  She served on the executive of Trócaire, the radio authority of RTE, the management committee of the trauma organisation RAFT and chaired the board of Foras na Gaeilge for 8 years.

Mrs Martin has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since August 2011.
Mrs Monica McGeary
Monica McGeary is owner and manager of Source Business Leads, a lead generation, appointment setting and market research company based in Edendork.  She previously worked as a director of international operations and client business development with the Frantz Group in Wisconsin, USA, prior to starting her own business in 2001.  She is also part of Enterprise Ireland’s mentor panel, offering sales development and export marketing insight to businesses across Ireland and is a member of the Parent Support Group in her local primary school.

Mrs McGeary has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since August 2011.
Mr Gerard O’Hanlon
Gerard O’Hanlon is Project Manager for Change with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, implementing the introduction of new ways of working and lean management methodologies. 

He is a former Director and Senior Consultant at Stredia, a risk management consultancy specialising in the management of workplace stress, and has led a large number of workplace stress reduction projects in both the public and private sectors.  He is also a member and past president of Omagh Chamber of Commerce.

Mr O’Hanlon has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since August 2011.
Mr Michael Skuce
Michael Skuce was a senior police officer in the PSNI up until his retirement in November 2010.  Prior to his retirement, he was the District Commander for the South West region for four years where he successfully implemented a significant change program in delivering a new style of policing under the Patton Report.  He has significant experience in leadership, change management and strategic and contingency planning.

Mr Skuce has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since August 2011.
Mrs Patricia McCaffrey
Mrs McCaffrey has been Head of Finance at Waterways Ireland since its establishment in 2002.  A Chartered Accountant, she has worked in various roles in both the public and private sectors and has a Masters Degree in Executive Leadership.  She also sits on the Audit Committee of The Ulster Scots Agency and on the Board of Irvinestown Credit Union.

Mrs McCaffrey has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since May 2014.
Mr Michael McGuckin
Mr Michael McGuckin was Chief Executive of Cookstown District Council for a period of twenty years until his retirement in 2011.  He is a Chartered Civil Engineer by profession and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation.  He has been a director of Cookstown Enterprise Agency for over twenty years and is presently its vice chairman.  He is also a director of Lissan Trust, a charitable trust charged with the restoration and preservation of Lissan Demesne.

Mr McGuckin has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since August 2015.
Mr Seamus McCaffrey
Mr Seamus McCaffrey is Managing Director of SP McCaffrey & Co Accountants, which he formed in 1983 and which operates throughout the UK and Ireland.  He is a member of a number of business networks including Business in the Community, the Institute of Directors and Omagh Chamber of Commerce.  Mr McCaffrey is also a livestock farmer and a member of the Fermanagh Grassland Society as well as a past non-executive board member of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute.

Mr McCaffrey has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since August 2015.
Staff Governors
Mrs Deborah Brown

Deborah Brown is Programme Development Co-ordinator of the ESF funded SUSE+ (Step Up to Sustainable Employment) Programme.  She has been employed by South West College since 2003 and has a wealth of experience in leading Social Inclusion Programmes and Business Support Teams across the college campuses and is a member of the College’s Safeguarding Team.  Deborah has been instrumental in establishing social enterprises on campus and has a passion for staff development leading to the creation of a staff Health & Wellbeing Hub.

Mrs Brown has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since October 2020.

Ms Siobhan Breen
Siobhan Breen is the Deputy Head of Business Management and Specialist Education based in the Omagh campus. She has been a member of staff for over 23 years and has a background in law and finance. 

Siobhan is an experienced lecturer and has been instrumental in developing a number of Higher Education programmes in the Corporate Law and Financial Services sector.  She has also successfully run her own financial services business, and now provides consultancy services locally. 

Ms Breen has been a staff member of the Governing Body of South West College since November 2019. 
Joanne Moore
Joanne Moore is a Software Support Engineer for Kainos, a public limited software company headquartered in Belfast. She is a Business Studies graduate, has a Masters in Software Development and has worked in various industry sectors in her career. Joanne has successfully run her own rural business and has worked as a Production Manager in both security print and high volume food production environments.

Mrs Moore has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since October 2018.
Gillian McDowell
Gillian McDowell is a self-employed Human Resources Consultant. Her firm, Happy Raspberry, provides tailored human resources services, training and development to its customers.

Gillian is an experienced HR professional who has worked with teams both strategically and operationally in both the public and private sectors. She has a wealth of experience managing complex issues and has been instrumental in leading and implementing change as well as in bringing new initiatives to a number of large organisations.

Mrs McDowell has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since October 2018.
Student Governor
Clara Jane Whitley
Clara Jane Whitley has been elected as Student Governor for the 2020/21 year by her fellow students.  She is studying for a BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art & Design in the College’s Enniskillen campus and is in her third year.   Clara Jane hopes to study Fashion Communication at university after completing her Diploma and to find employment in the fashion industry thereafter.
Miss Whitley has been a member of the Governing Body of South West College since November 2020.