Youth Justice Agency senior management profiles

A who's who of the Youth Justice Agency senior management.

Declan McGeown: Chief Executive

Declan was appointed Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Agency on 20th October 2014.

He graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Economics and joined the NI Civil Service as a Management Trainee in September 1996. As a career Civil Servant, he has worked in a number of areas including urban regeneration and was previously the Head of the North Belfast Community Action Unit responsible for the redevelopment of the site of the former Crumlin Road Gaol and Girdwood Army Barracks. Over the years, Declan worked on the Harbison Report looking at the future of voluntary and community sector and the Dunlop Report, which was an independent report looking at the community tensions in North Belfast. More recently, Declan carried out a review of urban regeneration and community development policies in the Department for Social Development.

Since 2009, Declan has worked in the former NIO and DoJ.  Aside from four years as the Head of the Community Safety Unit, Declan headed up both Central Co-ordination Division and Personnel and Office Services Division before joining the Youth Justice Agency in October 2014.

Mary Aughey: Director of Youth Justice Services

Mary was appointed Director of Youth Justice Services in December 2011.

Mary began her career in the criminal justice sector in 1990 when she worked as a residential social worker in St Joseph’s Training School, Middletown. In 1997 Mary joined the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) where she worked as a Probation Officer and then as PBNI’S Youth Justice Unit manager.

In 2004, Mary joined the Youth Justice Agency, initially as Assistant Director with the Community Services directorate. Prior to Mary’s recent appointment she was acting Director of the Youth Conference Service and acting Director of the newly established Youth Justice Services directorate.

Paul McStravick: Acting Director of Custodial Services

Paul began his career as a residential social worker in Nazareth Lodge Children’s Home in 1988 .Following his move to St Patricks Training School in August 1990 Paul worked in the care and criminal Justice system until the establishment of Glenmona Resource Centre in 1996 on the St Patricks site.

As a qualified social worker Paul has worked in a range of different settings with young people from difficult and traumatic backgrounds. Paul was appointed to the post of Unit Manager in Glenmona in 1998 and was responsible for the assessment and admissions for all young people in to the specialist facility.

Paul joined the Youth Justice Agency in December 2006 to take up a post in the new Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre. Paul was subsequently promoted to the role of Deputy Director Head of Social Work Care in April 2008 where he was responsible for the day to day residential care and overall delivery of all social work services provided throughout the Centre, both day and night.

Paul is a qualified assessor and internal verifier for foster carers, an assessor on the Registered Managers Diploma in Residential Child Care services and an internal verifier for community justice awards.

Paul Gibson - Director of Corporate Services

Paul was appointed Director of Corporate Services in September 2020.

He is a qualified accountant and was Head of Corporate Services in the Crown Solicitors Office prior to taking up post in YJA.

Prior to this, Paul worked for the NI Audit Office, the Department of Health and the Department of Finance.


Back to top