A strong, experienced & professional communications team

Owen McQuade


Owen McQuade is Lagan Consulting’s Managing Director and has led the company since its formation over twenty years ago. A chartered engineer, Owen has extensive experience of advising senior management in relation to communications, policy and strategy. He has in-depth knowledge and experience of the Irish energy sector having worked as Government Affairs Manager for Viridian Group and in a number of strategic roles with the Royal Dutch Shell Group in the UK and the Netherlands. He has been an FT energy author and has published expert studies on energy markets and the future outlook for energy utilities. Beyond energy, Owen has extensive experience of planning and executing public affairs strategies on behalf of a range of clients across all sectors including housing, waste, the environment, the third sector and north/south organisations. Stakeholder identification and engagement is one of his core strengths. Owen has also worked for government departments, north and south and has in depth insight into the workings of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Dáil Éireann. In addition to providing high level strategic communications advice to clients, Owen also offers a mentoring service, providing personalised advice and support to company executives, on a one-to-one basis, in the strictest confidence.

Neil Johnston

Account Director

Neil Johnston is Account Director at Lagan Consulting with over twenty years’ experience in strategic communications and public affairs in Northern Ireland. Neil has worked for a range of leading organisations including the BBC, RSPB and RICS. He has extensive experience in campaigning and lobbying and in media relations. In his consultancy work he has worked for a broad range of blue chip companies from Pfizer to Easyjet. Neil also has strong skills in media relations and in his role as public affairs adviser to Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke often appears on radio and TV on their behalf. He has proven record of delivery both in terms of the policy goals and increased profile of the clients concerned. He has a reputation for understanding complex issues and agendas and successfully progressing client interests. A Politics and Economics graduate from Loughborough University Neil worked in politics in London for ten years before returning to Northern Ireland. He is also a founder and former Chair of the Northern Ireland Government Affairs Group.

Lynda Millar

Director and Media Relations Manager

Lynda Millar is a Director and Media Relations Manager at Lagan Consulting, having worked with the company for over 13 years. A communications specialist, Lynda has a flair for coming up with creative campaigns on behalf of clients, advising on message development, stakeholder mapping and media relations. Lynda has built up excellent relations with Northern Ireland’s print and broadcast media and has a track record for managing these relationships effectively on behalf of clients. She has particular expertise in the area of managing new media activities including website design, email marketing and social media. A first class honours graduate in Marketing and Communications from Ulster University, Lynda is passionate about delivering a premium service on behalf of her clients and ensuring all their communications output is of the highest quality.

Gareth Duffy

Head of Design

Gareth Duffy is Lagan Consulting’s Head of Design. An enthusiastic and innovative designer, Gareth has worked in senior design roles for over 20 years. As Lagan Consulting’s Head of Design, he is committed to exceeding expectations and oversees a team of designers who always ensure a quality service – speed of turnaround is one of their core strengths. Previous assignments have included a full company rebranding follow a name change, as well as launching complete brand identities. Gareth has particular expertise in the area of design of printed materials and has designed a range of books, magazines, brochures, annual reports, corporate strategies etc. He is expert in all the latest printing techniques and design software including Quark Xpress, Adobe Acrobat / Photoshop / Illustrator and Dreamweaver, he is also skilled in the use of the video editing software Adobe After Effects.

Fiona McCarthy

Research and Events Manager

Fiona McCarthy has held the position of Research and Events Manager at Lagan Consulting for six years, and during this time has experience of working on a range of different accounts. Fiona is across all the latest developments in Northern Ireland’s political and government landscape and ensures her clients are fully abreast of any external opportunities, or risks, that may impact on their organisations. Fiona also heads up all event management activities, which includes everything from press briefings, executive round tables, company launches to major conferences. An English graduate from Ulster University, Fiona’s attention to detail is unparalleled and she takes a dedicated and thorough approach to delivering on client briefs.

Richard Farley

Head of Web Design and New Media

Richard Farley is Lagan Consulting’s Head of Web Design and New Media. A passionate creative, Richard assists clients with optimising their online presence and ensuring all communications campaigns are fully integrated. SEO and content management are his speciality and he has experience both in building completely new websites for clients as well as improving and enhancing existing sites, including those offering eCommerce services. Within Lagan Consulting, Richard is responsible for delivering the digital and social media element of communications strategies. Richard is an Ulster University graduate with a degree in Interactive Multimedia Design and has a Master’s Diploma from Queen’s University in Business Management and Development.
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