About the McClay Foundation

The McClay Foundation exists to make a meaningful improvement and advancement in human health.
Watch our video to find out more about our history and the life of our Founder, Sir Allen McClay.


A message from our Chairman,
Alan Armstrong OBE




I had the privilege and honour of working alongside Sir Allen McClay for over 30 years. He was an incredibly inspirational visionary whose foresight and ambition to advance human health led to the creation of the McClay Trust in 1997 which, since then, has contributed substantial financial support to a wide range of beneficiaries.

His unwavering passion to continue helping those in need around the world prompted him to create the McClay Foundation in 2008 and transfer the McClay Trusts’ assets to the Foundation.

Allen’s untimely passing came in 2010 but his drive, his goals and his vision remain the focus of the Foundation.

We are committed to the principal objectives of the McClay Foundation and will continue to uphold Allen’s wishes by continuing his legacy and vision to make a meaningful contribution to human health and wellbeing, worldwide.



About Sir Allen McClay




Born in 1932 and raised in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, Allen was the youngest of six. A modest and humble beginning helped shape the man he became in later life. An apprenticeship as a sales representative for Glaxo was the beginning, and after 13 years of honing his skill and knowledge, the young Allen ventured out on his own, and by 1968 he had formed his own pharmaceutical sales company, Galen.

At the height of Northern Ireland’s most difficult period, Sir Allen grew this organisation rapidly, and when it was publicly floated in 1997, it subsequently became Northern Ireland’s first £1 billion valued company, employing over one thousand people. It was in that year that he also established the McClay Trust, which has provided over £20 million to support scientific research. Throughout his working life, he continued to be driven by a passion to make a real difference, help those in serious need and do everything in his power to advance human health.

Allen was a world renowned entrepreneur, visionary and mentor but it was his relentless philanthropic ethos and generous spirit that was most inspiring. The McClay Foundation is his lasting legacy to continue this ethos. Allen McClay was an extraordinary man and The McClay Foundation embodies his lifelong work and his legacy.




“The mill wheel that grindeth out the corn”