HMS Caroline and Marie-Thérèse McGivern

HMS Caroline to become a tourist attraction

The National Museum of the Royal Navy has been given the task of restoring her to her former glory. 
 My friend Sammy Douglas MLA has informed me that Marie-Thérèse McGivern, Director and Chief Executive of the Belfast Metropolitan College, at a recent meeting paid tribute to my efforts to save this ship and the SS Nomadic for Belfast before it became fashionable.
The 3,750-ton ship, which was active in the First World War, looks set to become a cherished historical attraction in the same way as HMS Belfast, which is moored on the Thames in London.

Plans are under way to tell the stories of the men who served on the 98-year-old ship, the last vessel to fight in the Battle of Jutland that is still afloat today.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy has been given the task of finding funding to restore her to her former glory. Talks with the Heritage Lottery Fund have been described as “positive”. The ship will remain at Alexandra Dock in the city.

Mark Francois, a defence minister, said: “We are very pleased and relieved that HMS Caroline has been secured for future generations.

Marie-Thérèse McGivern Director and Chief Executive – Belfast Metropolitan College
Marie-Therese McGivern, Director & Chief Executive BMC

Born in Belfast, Ms McGivern began her career as a teacher in further education.  From this grew a desire to deal in a more proactive way with long-term youth unemployment and, in consequence, she spent most of the 1980s working in the areas of unemployment and in enterprise development.

In the 90s, she moved to develop policy for the youth service in Northern Ireland and in 1995 joined the Civil Service as a secondee to the Urban Regeneration Initiative, Making Belfast Work.  

Ms McGivern worked initially as a Team Leader in West Belfast covering some of the most deprived areas in Western Europe.  She then moved to set up and head the Central Policy, Planning and Research Unit for the Initiative.

In April 1999 she joined the Belfast City Council as Director of Development heading up a newly-created department combining the economic development, arts and tourism activities of the Council with the physical development and management activities.

In April 2007 her responsibilities were significantly enlarged to include the Waterfront and Ulster Halls as well as taking over all community and neighbourhood development work for the Council.

In 2003 she was appointed as visiting professor in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Ulster.  

In 2004 she was elected as a Board member of the British Urban Regeneration Association and was re-elected in 2007.  She sits on their judging panel for regeneration awards.  She was an advisor on the Laganside Corporation from 1999 until it ceased operations in April 2007.  She also sits on the Advisory Council of the Centre for Public Policy Seminars.  

In 2005 she was conferred with honorary membership of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects.

In 2007 she was appointed as an advisor to the Academy for Sustainable Communities.  She speaks on the issue of urban regeneration on a regular basis at a national and international level.  She has prepared and delivered papers for the Brownfields Initiative (USA); Urban Affairs Association (USA); Harvard University; the European Commission; Eurocities; Quartiers en Crise; BURA and OECD.

In November 2009 she became Director and Chief Executive of Belfast Metropolitan College, the biggest further education college in Northern Ireland.  The College has a staff of 1,600 with 48,000 students

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