Conan McIlwrath to be new Chair of the Haemophilia Society

Written by Sam Wilson, June 20, 2024

We’re delighted to tell you that Conan McIlwrath will become the next Chair of the Haemophilia Society when Clive Smith steps down from the role in November.

Conan, who has severe haemophilia A, has been a trustee of our charity since 2019 and is currently one of our vice chairs. He was elected chair after an internal selection process by our Board of Trustee members. This is a voluntary, unpaid role which carries a lot of responsibility.

Conan lives in County Antrim in Northern Ireland with his son Mathew, partner Andrea and her daughter Ariana, between them all they provide him with the support to carry out this role. An engineer, Conan has held management positions in the NI water industry for more than 20 years. He has a strong connection with the Haemophilia Society as both his parents were active members and he attended many of our events and gatherings. Conan and his mother were both infected with hepatitis C as a result of treatment with contaminated blood products, thankfully both are  now clear of the virus but live with the damage it has caused.

Conan said: ‘I’m very honoured to take on the role of chair of the Haemophilia Society. I step up  at a time of unprecedented financial pressure for charities. I look forward to helping the team find new ways to reach and support people with bleeding disorders around the UK, as well as strengthening our much-loved events, such as Youth Camp and Newly Diagnosed Weekends. My foremost ambition is to achieve self-sustainability through the growth and engagement of our membership. Together WE are the Haemophilia Society.

‘Clive has been an outstanding chair during a very difficult period as we and our members navigated the Infected Blood Inquiry whilst facing numerous challenges caused by the pandemic. If I can be half of the chair Clive has been I will take that as an achievement. This charity is a crucial voice and support for everyone with a bleeding disorder and I’m very proud to be part of it.’

Clive will continue to play an important role within the charity as president, taking over from Baroness Meacher who becomes our patron. Clive became a THS trustee in 2015, and succeeded Barry Flynn as chair in 2019.

Those of you who’ve met Clive over the last five years will know that Conan has big shoes to fill, and we will be saying a proper thank you to Clive for his incredible service as chair in November.