Dr James Hawthorne


Dr James Hawthorne CBE
27th March 1930 – 7th September 2006

Chairman, Prison Arts Foundation 1995 – 2006.

James Burns Hawthorne, broadcaster, management consultant and teacher: born Belfast 27 March 1930; master, Sullivan Upper School 1951-60; staff, BBC 1960-76, 1978-87, Schools Producer in charge of Northern Ireland 1967, Chief Assistant, Northern Ireland 1969-70, seconded to the Hong Kong government as Controller of Television 1970, Director of Broadcasting, Hong Kong 1972-77, Controller, BBC Northern Ireland 1978-87; CBE 1982; director, James Hawthorne Associates 1987-92, partner 1993-2006; married 1958 to Patricia King; one son, two daughters; Chairman, Northern Ireland Prison Arts Foundation; died Belfast 7 September 2006.

Dr James, as he was affectionately known by our past Executive Director Mike Moloney, was a quiet soft spoken man with a passion for the Arts as well as all his other activities. His life was continually in turmoil because of his roll in journalism during the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland.

He was also Schools Controller of Programmes, with a passion for childrens education. He was born into an artistic family and in 1995 he Joined the Board of the Prison Arts Foundation. His Chairmanship saw the organization grow from one part time worker to two full time staff and around 30 self employed Artists providing cutting edge artistic opportunities for prisoners. He loved visiting prisons and enjoyed the company of prisoners with whom he regularly discussed the state of the Arts in Northern Ireland.

Dr James was well loved by all our Artists and staff and his death came as a great shock to all of us. He is greatly missed but his enthusiasm and friendly approach lives on through the present Chairman Mr Oliver Brannighan and his board.

The above picture of Dr James is currently on display at our main office in bridge St, Belfast.