Dr Verity Peet - General Manager

Verity Peet

Verity joined Portico in 2015 and has established this restored church in the back of beyond into a thriving venue firmly on the map for audiences and performers from near and far. With 60+ events a year now, Portico draws visitors that support the local economy and provides substantial social and wellbeing benefits for all.

At Portico, Verity fundraises, programmes, markets, organises and generally attempts to look after everything. She is on various boards and committees including the Arts and Heritage Advisory Panel for Ards and North Down Borough Council, the Heritage Forum (ANDBC), Portaferry Community Collective, the Venues Forum (ANDBC), Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership, Strangford Lough Tourism Cluster and Thrive.

Before joining Portico Verity worked as a writer and producer for the BBC, Channel 4, English Heritage, Tourism Ireland and various ‘Indies’. Her PhD is in Pervasive Media (if you really want to know check out veritypeet.com).

Paula McKeown - Assistant Manager


Paula McKeown sml

Paula joined Portico in 2024 as Assistant Manager (p/t).

Paula's role is to support and manage our extensive team of volunteers, assist with event management and help create the happy friendly vibe we are known for.

Born and bred on the Ards peninsula, Paula has worked in several different roles including Speech and Language Therapist and Director of the Living Church project for the Diocese of Down and Connor. 

Paula has a passion for seeing Church buildings placed at the heart of the local community and is delighted to be involved in making Portico a place of connection for volunteers and a place of outstanding events for the community. 

Ann Moreland - Development Manager

Ann Moreland

Ann joined Portico in 2024 as Development Manager (p/t) to explore potential growth opportunities for Portico.

With over 25 years in the tourism and events sector, Ann brings a wealth of knowledge and experience having delivered The Festival of Flight, International Bread Festival and St Patrick’s Day Festivals as well as the global Giro d’Italia, Irish Open’s and the five nation Euro’s bid for 2028.

Ann lives in Portaferry and has strong connections to the area. In 2016, as the General Manager of the Exploris Aquarium,  Ann re-established it as a 5 star visitor attraction within 18 months of its relaunch. More recently, as a Director at Portaferry Regeneration Ltd she has been involved in the development of their strategic action plan and ongoing successful development of their monthly artisan market.

Away from work, Ann likes nothing more than roaming the brocantes in south-west of France and picking up shabby chic bargins and of course, enjoying a glass or two of wine!


Craig Jackson - Technical Director (Freelance)


Craig Jackson 2022

Craig is Technical Manager in the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queens University, Belfast. He has a keen interest in sound design and interactive sonic installations and manages both the Soundscape Park Project and the NI Hospice Sonic Gardens, two interactive permanent sound installations in Belfast. 

Aside from managing the extensive studio facilities at SARC, including the Sonic Laboratory (3D sound for the ear), Craig coordinates the technical requirements for events, festivals and projects within SARC and the wider School. 

Craig is a keen sound engineer and has experience in both live and recording environments including large-scale concerts and installations. He has been Technical Director for the Sonorities Festival since 2013 and spends his free time being Technical Director for Portico.

David Denvir - Caretaker (p/t)

Davy looks after the day to day cleaning, maintenance and security of Portico. Unfortunately for him, but brilliantly for us, he also lives three doors away so is the first port of call when the alarm goes off!

Davy has been in the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service for over 50 years and is currently Watch Commander at Portaferry. He has received industry awards as well as a British Empire Medal for his services to fire safety.