Long announces appointments to Probation Board for Northern Ireland

Date published: 01 March 2022

Justice Minister Naomi Long has today announced appointments to the Probation Board for Northern Ireland.

Max Murray has been appointed as the Chair to the Board.

He will be joined on the Board by: Patrick Barnes, Neil Bodger, Maureen Brunt, Jonny Byrne, Kieran Donaghy, Brian Ingram, Jackie Johnston, Maurice Keady, Angela Lloyd-Stevens, Catherine Magee, Bria Mongan and Eileen Patterson.

The members have been appointed following an open competition regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments Northern Ireland and take up office today for a three-year term.

Announcing the appointments, Naomi Long said: “This is extremely important and valuable work because the Probation Board for Northern Ireland is an organisation that is involved at all stages of the criminal justice process.

 “In addition to playing a key role in reducing crime and preventing re-offending through the effective supervision of people who have offended, PBNI delivers a number of justice priorities. These include tackling issues around domestic abuse, sexual and violent offences and implementing problem solving justice initiatives.

 “I wish the new Board well in their vital role in supporting the organisation to continue its critical work of changing lives for safer communities.”

Notes to editors: 

1. The Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) is an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB) established by the Probation Board (NI) Order 1982.  The Board is tasked with providing an adequate and efficient probation service and is responsible for determining its policy within the broad parameters set by Government and for monitoring the service’s performance against objectives.

2. The main activities of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland are: the supply of information to the courts through pre-sentence reports; the supervision of offenders made subject to community disposals; and the provision of social welfare services in prisons.  The Board also funds community initiatives aimed at supporting the statutory supervision of offenders in the community.

3. Appointments to the Board are made by the Minister of Justice in accordance with Schedule 1 to the 1982 Order.  Statutorily, the Board must consist of a Chair, Deputy Chair and not less than 10 nor more than 18 other members.  These appointments are for a term of three years and take effect from 1st March 2022.  The remuneration for the post of Chair is £33,010 per annum and for Board Member is £5,050 per annum.

4. These appointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments Northern Ireland Code of Practice.  All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process, however, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published.

5. The details of the Probation Board membership, with effect from 1st March 2022 is as follows:


Max Murray CBE worked for the Northern Ireland Prison Service for 37 years before retiring.  During his time in the Prison Service he was Governor of Magilligan Prison, Director of Offender Services, Director of Operations and Director of Estates.  He is currently a consultant for the Council of Europe working in the Western Balkans on modernising criminal justice systems and implementing prison reform.

Political Activity: none


Patrick Barnes OLY is currently a club development officer within Ulster boxing, dealing with a range of issues from governance to fundraising opportunities for clubs. He is also a member of both the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games and Irish Olympic team's athlete advisory committees. He has been an athlete at the highest level for 15 years, travelling the world competing for both Northern Ireland and Ireland at both the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games where he captained teams at both, winning two Commonwealth Games gold medals and two Olympic bronze medals.

Political Activity: none.

Neil Bodger has been involved in managerial and company finance at Senior Manager or Director Level for over 30 years. He has experience in corporate governance, finance, strategic planning, human resources, marketing and public relations.  Mr Bodger has worked as a chair of audit and risk management committees in the public sector for 22 years.  He is currently a board Member and Audit Chair of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) £6,000p.a.), and board Member and Chair of the Business Support Committee of Libraries NI (£2,500 p.a.). 

Political Activity: none.

Maureen Brunt started her career in finance and moved to the voluntary sector where she has worked for over 25 years.  Currently working as a business and well-being consultant, Maureen brings extensive experience in community development; strategy development; health and well-being; and life-coaching. Maureen serves as Non-Executive Director with the Drainage Council for NI (unremunerated) and manages her husband’s dairy farm and property interests. In her final year of BSc Psychology, Maureen won the Futures Award Student of the Year 2021, and is currently conducting research into chronic pain.

Political Activity: none

Dr. Jonny Byrne is a senior lecturer in Criminology at Ulster University. He lectures on issues relating to policing and security, countering violent extremism and psychology within the criminal justice system.

Political Activity: none

Brian Ingram OBE was the Director of Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre within the Youth Justice Agency until his retirement in July 2020.  Prior to this Brian has 30 years’ experience as a Senior Manager within the Northern Ireland Prison Service, working with vulnerable adults and young people, preparing for resettlement into community and developing life skills and qualifications for employment. Brian is highly experienced in organisational development, corporate governance and leadership.  He obtained an MSc in Criminology and awarded an OBE in the 2018 Queen’s New Year Honours in recognition for his work with vulnerable adults and young people. Following his retirement, Brian has continued in his role as chairperson of the Board of Governors for a local primary school and chairperson of a charity supporting women, men and children who are subjected to domestic abuse.

Political Activity: none

Jackie Johnston CBE is a former senior civil servant with wide experience of public administration including oversight of the corporate governance requirements for statutory bodies.  During his career he has held senior policy positions in the areas of economic development, constitutional development, corporate regulation, urban regeneration and the health service. Most recently, he was an Executive Board Member in the Department of Health and a member of the Rebuilding Board for Health and Social Care during the pandemic. He has an MSc in Executive Leadership from Ulster University and was awarded a CBE for services to healthcare.

Kieran Donaghy is a former Director of Human Resources.  In this role, he led on the development and implementation of polices to meet the Trusts strategic objectives.  He has also a wealth of experience in change management and experience of reviewing Governance and finance structures.  He is a Commissioner for the Charity Commission NI for which he receives a remuneration of £2,300 pa.  He has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no other public appointments”.

Political Activity: none

Maurice Keady holds a Doctorate in Governance from Queens University Belfast and is a Solicitor and a Notary Public. He is a member of the board of the Faculty of Pathology at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and a member of the Leadership Board of Forensic Science Northern Ireland. Previously, he was a Public Interest Director on the Medical Scientist Registration Board and is a panel Chair at CORU. He is currently a Director of the European Consumer Centre and was recently appointed for a second term as a Member of the Authority at the Property Services Regulatory Authority and is the outgoing Chair of its Audit and Risk Committee.  He was appointed by the North-South Ministerial Council to the Advisory Committee to Safefood.

Previously, he was appointed a Director of the Economic Research Institute of Northern Ireland by the UK government and the OFMDFM, where he Chaired the Audit and Risk Committee for several years. Maurice is a business mentor at the Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership at Cambridge University. He is a former Chairman of AIESEC in Ireland (a non-governmental body in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), is an independent arm of the UN DP and UN's Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, member of ICMYO, and is recognized by UNESCO)

Maurice is a director and outgoing chair of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and a former director of the Conflict Research Institute (NI) and the CEO of a public body.

He is a former Council Member of the Veterinary Council of Ireland and is a former winner of the Ledwidge International Poetry Prize.  He has several publications in Economics; Law and Strategic Management.

Political Activity: none

Angela Lloyd-Stevens is a solicitor who currently works in the public sector.  She has a wealth of experience in human rights and in organisational governance, and has also previously worked with ex-prisoners and their families.  Angela is a former Board member of Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid and a former board member of HERe NI.  

Political Activity: none

Catherine Magee has spent her professional career within the education sector, both as a practitioner and a school leader.  She has vast experience as a team leader and has always advocated for fairness and respect in her role as a model of good practice. Since retiring, she has taken on a number of challenges and roles within the public and private sectors, including leading a three school amalgamation, Independent Assessor for CPANI and a Board Member of the Odyssey Trust.

Political Activity: none

Bria Mongan has forty years’ experience working across Health and Social care services in Northern Ireland.  Bria was the Executive Director of Social Work and Children’s services and Director of Mental health, Disability and Prison healthcare services in South Eastern HSC Trust and has worked closely with justice agencies developing healthcare services for people in detention. Bria looks forward to contributing to the work of the Northern Ireland probation service.

Political Activity: none

Eileen Patterson has had a long career as a housing professional and is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Housing.  She is committed to the delivery of high quality social support services and has previously held senior positions in Radius Housing, Fold Housing Association and the Housing Executive. Eileen is a Board Member of Clanmil Housing, a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing Advisory Board for the Republic of Ireland and is a representative for Northern Ireland on the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence.  A graduate of Ulster University, she holds an MSc in Housing and is also a graduate of the Queen’s University Business Leaders Programme.

Political Activity: none

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