Northern Ireland Council members

There are two Councillors representing College members in Northern Ireland. They help set and deliver the College's strategic and business plans. They also act as ambassadors for their region, sharing news, views and information between the College and their constituents. 

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Lorcan Butler MCOptom
Council Member - Northern Ireland

Lorcan qualified from Glasgow Caledonian University after completing the Dispensing Optician & Optometry Courses. He has worked in numerous multiple and independent practices in Scotland, Ireland and New Zealand. He has been working with Vision Express in Northern Ireland for the past 12 years.

He enjoys passing his experience on to newly qualified registrants and has supervised ten pre-reg trainees and one dispensing optometry student. Lorcan is involved with internal training programmes that Vision Express provide for pre-reg student nationwide in the form of tutorials and workshops.

Lorcan has a huge interest in children's visual development and has obtained the College of Optometrists' Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care. He has completed myopia control training by worldwide renowned academic institution Brien Holden Vision Academy in Australia.

Lorcan is currently working on getting his accreditation as a Dry Eye Practitioner with BCLA and implementing TFOS/DEWS II recommendations into daily practice. When not looking at eyes, he loves nothing better than supporting Ireland Rugby Team and their achievements.


Professor Kathryn Saunders BSc FCOptom
Council Member- Northern Ireland

Kathryn Saunders is a Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Her research interests include the development of refractive error in infancy and childhood in typically developing children and in the presence of developmental disability. She has led the Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction (NICER) study, a large longitudinal epidemiological study of refractive error, for the past 12 years. The NICER study has provided new insight into the prevalence, onset and progression of myopia in modern school age children living in the UK. Kathryn has published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate optometry teaching, including leading the College-accredited Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eyecare at Ulster University. In addition to academic and research work, Kathryn remains a practising optometrist with a strong interest in translational research which improves vision care and visual outcomes for people with and without special needs.