The Northern Ireland Alpaca Group is coordinated by a small committee of five members. The committee is elected by the membership of the Group for a two-year term. The current committee will serve from April 2020 to April 2022.
Claire Martin – Chair
Claire began her alpaca adventure in 2015 after encountering the animals at a local agricultural show. Plenty of research and a visit to a local breeder followed, which as anybody who has ever met an alpaca knows, was the beginning of the end!
Edenderry Alpacas was established the following year with three much-loved females and Claire, along with husband Chris and their three children, are now the proud owners of a small but growing herd. Claire has a keen interest in alpaca fibre and especially enjoys needle felting. Contact Claire here.
Sue Kelly – Treasurer
Sue, from Ballinderry Alpacas near Lisburn, is the Treasurer and a founding member of NIAG. As a lot of people Sue bought two girls as pets but fell in love with them and wanted babies so a male was bought and has now a small herd. She is learning the art of spinning the fleece as to make good use of the excellent fibre. During the day she works in the customer service department in Tesco. Contact Sue here.
Roger Clarke- Show Secretary
Having established Amberly Alpacas with his wife Elaine in 2006, Roger has spent many years developing his expertise and is now Ireland’s first apprentice alpaca judge and a British Alpaca Society accredited alpaca training affiliate.
As a member of the British Alpaca Society (BAS) and the Alpaca Association of Ireland (AAI) Roger is proud to have been one of nine initiating herd owners who founded the Northern Ireland Alpaca Group (NIAG) back in 2012.
With a personal interest in genetics and breeding for improvement, Roger has worked in partnership with his wife, to establish and grow their prize winning herd of huacaya and suri alpacas and is committed to taking a lead role in the alpaca industry and inspiring high standards. Contact Roger here
Lesley Faulkner – Secretary
After moving back to the country not long after they married, Lesley and her husband Aaron decided they needed a couple of furry ‘lawnmowers’ to cut down their rather large garden to save time.
The couple’s first two alpacas arrived in April 2016. Since then (as with most who own them) Lesley and Aaron were hooked, Ballymac Alpacas’ numbers keep increasing and their time saving exercise has become all consuming!
Says Lesley : “I wish I could place all the blame on Aaron but we’re both completely in love with these fabulously quirky ‘lawnmowers!’.”
Contact Lesley here
Kathleen Mathers – Joint Secretary
In September 2013 after a year of research in keeping alpacas Kathleen introduced 3 pet boys to the family home in Bangor whilst she was still working full time as a biomedical scientist in London. Luckily the whole family were hooked and in less than a year another 4 alpacas were added to the herd – all girls this time. Ashtonelle Alpacas was born! The first homebred Ashtonelle alpacas were born in 2015 and the herd is growing year by year. Kathleen has now returned to Northern Ireland permanently to ‘live the alpaca dream’. Together with her husband John the majority of the herd will be moving to a new farm in Greyabbey in late 2021.
Contact Kathleen here