New members appointed to the Probation Board by Secretary of State

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland appoints new members to the Probation Board for NI

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Rt. Hon Karen Bradley MP today announced a number of appointments to the Probation Board for Northern Ireland. In the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers, these appointments were made possible by the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018, which received Royal Assent on 1 November.

The current Chair and Board members are due to stand down on 30 November 2018. Dale Ashford will take up the position of new Chair from 1 December 2018 and will be joined by Neil Bodger, Jonny Byrne, Kelly Clarke, Kieran Donaghy, Theresa Donaldson, Paul Douglas, Patricia Keenan, Max Murray, and Alastair Ross as new Board members. The Secretary State has also re-appointed Judith Gillespie, Gearoid O’hEara and David Wall to the Board.

Mrs Bradley said:

"I am delighted to make these appointments to the Probation Board for Northern Ireland.

"The Board has a unique role in that it provides oversight and strategic direction to the Probation Service within Northern Ireland with the overarching aim of “Changing Lives for safer communities

"I am confident these new appointments will enable the Board to fulfil its statutory role. The reappointments of Judith Gillespie, Gearoid O’hEara and David Wall will also ensure a degree of continuity on the Board.

"In October 2018, I introduced the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018. The legislation enabled me to make key public appointments to a number of bodies including the Probation Board for Northern Ireland.

"Whilst I am pleased to announce these appointment and we will continue to make the necessary interventions to ensure good governance and the delivery of public services, this can never be a substitute for local decision making. It would be much better for devolved Ministers to be in place to make these decisions - including on key public appointments.

"That is why I will be engaging the parties urgently, along with the Tanaiste in line with the well-established three stranded approach, to work to find a solution that gets the Executive restored and delivering for the people of NI."

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