New Royal College of Midwives Northern Ireland Director

on 25 September 2018 Northern Ireland Director For Northern Ireland RCM Northern Ireland

A midwife from Belfast has been appointed as the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) new Director for Northern Ireland. Karen Murray – who started the job last week - moved into the role from her previous position as Senior Professional Officer at the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery (NIPEC). Karen replaces previous Director Breedagh Hughes who retired in July this year.

Karen has held various clinical midwifery posts before moving into midwifery education, working as a midwifery lecturer at Queens University Belfast for over 14 years. During this time she held the position of Lead Midwife for Education for 5 years. Following her move to NIPEC in 2016 Karen has had opportunities to lead and develop initiatives with a particular focus on midwifery, children’s services, safeguarding and public health. In this role she worked closely with key stakeholders to facilitate the development of effective guidance and recommendations to enhance the quality of health care services provided by midwives and nurses.

Commenting on her appointment, Karen Murray said: “I feel incredibly privileged to be stepping into this role and it is one I relish. Breedagh Hughes did such a wonderful job, supporting our members, championing choice and rights for women and fighting for even better maternity services for Northern Ireland and I will continue that work.

“There is no doubt that these are challenging times in many ways for midwives, maternity support workers, women and health services in Northern Ireland; not least the lack of a functioning government. I will continue to make sure that the RCM has a strong voice in all these issues as it always has done. The RCM has a pivotal role to play and I will continue to ensure our voice is heard.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCM, said “This is a great coup for us to have someone of the calibre of Karen joining the RCM. She will be a great advocate for midwives, for women and the RCM and I am delighted to be working with her in this new role.”

Karen has a long association with the RCM having been an active member since 1991 and engaging in RCM branch activities at various points during her career. She served as Vice Chair and Chair of her local branch and promoted activities to engage members in branch activities and to promote the benefits of RCM membership. She actively promoted the RCM Student Midwives Forum and encouraged and facilitated students to engage in Forum activities recognising the value of the developmental opportunities this provided.  

Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at