Appointment of Deputy Chair of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland

Date published: 30 September 2022

Justice Minister Naomi Long has announced the appointment of Mrs Eileen Patterson as Deputy Chair of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland.

justice minister Naomi Long pictured

Announcing the appointment, Mrs Long said: 

“The work of PBNI is extremely important contributing to a range of justice priorities at many stages of the criminal justice system. PBNI undertake a vital role in supporting the organisation to continue its critical work of changing lives for safer communities.

“I am pleased to appoint Eileen as Deputy Chair of the Board and wish her well in supporting the Chair and Board in their important work.”

Mrs Patterson, a serving member of the Board, took up her new post on 15 September 2022 until 28 February 2025.

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 people who have offended 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 Justice Minister 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.

4. This appointment is an internal appointment from the existing pool of Board members.  The PBNI Board was appointed by the Justice Minister following an open competition CPANI regulated public appointment competition.  This appointment does not result in any additional remuneration.

5. 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 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

6. Media enquiries to the Department of Justice Press Office via email 

7. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110

Share this page

Back to top