Chair of PUP appointed Independent Member of Policing Board

Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, has announced the new 19 member line-up for the Policing Board due to take over from the current board on 1st April, following his call for nominations from the political parties on March 1st.. there’s an accompanying BBC report here – the UUP are to discuss whether they’ll take those seats, apparently.. and there are few surprises among the party representatives. But among the independent members, most of whom are re-appointments, there are some names that will attract criticism of the selection process – most notably the Chair of the Progressive Unionist Party, Dawn Purvis – and how that fits in with the strategy of Peter Hain.The political parties’ nominations, with the exception of the extra nominee from the UUP, seem to have passed scrutiny, unsurprisingly –

The Board’s political membership will be:

Ian Paisley Jnr MLA; William Hay MLA; Arlene Foster MLA and Peter Weir MLA, who were nominated by the DUP, Fred Cobain MLA and Danny Kennedy MLA nominated by the UUP. Alex Attwood MLA and Dolores Kelly MLA nominated by the SDLP.

The independent members however include some interesting, to say the least names –

Following an open competition for Independent Members, Peter Hain has appointed the following Board members:

Prof Sir Desmond Rea, Joe Byrne, Barry Gilligan, Pauline McCabe, Rosaleen Moore, Suneil Sharma, Dawn Purvis, Brian Rea MBE JP, Trevor Ringland, Brendan Duddy, and Deirdre MacBride.

The accompanying bios –

Professor Sir Desmond Rea

Professor Sir Desmond Rea is an existing member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board. He is an Emeritus Professor of Human Resource Management at the University of Ulster. Sir Desmond is Editor of the Economic Outlook and Business Review for First Trust Bank. He is a former Chairman of the Northern Ireland Labour Relations Agency, the NI Local Government Staff Commission and of the NI Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.

Joe Byrne

Joe Byrne is an existing member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board. He is a Queen’s University economics graduate who went on to become a college lecturer before commencing a political career. Mr Byrne was a member of Omagh District Council from 1993 to 2005 and served as Chairman in 1997. He was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum for Political Dialogue in 1996; was a member of the new Northern Ireland assembly between 1998 and 2003.

Barry Gilligan

Barry Gilligan is an existing member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board. He runs his own consultancy and property company. He is Chairman of the Colin Glen Trust and Chairman of Groundwork Northern Ireland. Mr Gilligan is a director of Cobra Estates Ltd (Property Investment and Development/Consultancy Services), Crumlin Road Courthouse Ltd (Property Development) Ravella Properties Ltd

Pauline McCabe

Mrs Pauline McCabe is an existing member of the Policing Board. She is a Training and Business Consultant with a Masters Degree in Personnel Management, and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. She has links with Newry Hospice and other charities.

Rosaleen Moore

Rosaleen Moore is an existing member of the Policing Board. She is a Social Worker by profession and was Director of Mental Health and Disability Services in Craigavon and Banbridge Health and Social Services Trust. She has been appointed to the Board of Praxis NI a Mental Health Charity and retains an interest in this area in a voluntary capacity.

Suneil Sharma

Suneil Sharma is an existing member of the Policing Board. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He is Managing Director of the Varsity Estates Group and a former Commissioner with the Commission for Racial Equality NI. He is Chairman of the charity Preparing for Post Conflict which deals with issues around community development.

Dawn Purvis

Dawn Purvis is Chairperson of the PUP and has stood as a candidate for the party in elections. Currently a research associate at the University of Ulster and had previously worked as the PUP’s Assembly co-ordinator. The early part of her career was spent in the Health Service.

Brian Rea MBE JP

Brian Rea worked for 35 years for Castlereagh College of Further and Higher Education holding various posts including Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Head of Department. He is a former chairman of the Northern Ireland Region of the Association for College Management. He is involved in voluntary work with a number of community and other welfare interest groups. Amongst a wide range of positions Mr Rea is currently vice chairman of the Prison Service Trust and is a Lay Magistrate.

Trevor Ringland

Trevor Ringland is a solicitor and senior partner in the firm of Macaulay and Ritchie, Solicitors. He is a non-executive director of Independent News and Media (Northern Ireland) Limited and a Board member of the Ireland Funds and Mediation Northern Ireland. He has served as a member of the main committee of the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Sports Council for Northern Ireland and on the Broadcasting Council for Northern Ireland. Trevor is a trustee of the RUC George Cross Foundation and a member of the committee of the IRFU Charitable Trust which looks after injured rugby players. He is on the committee of the British Irish Association and Chairman of One Small Step.

Brendan Duddy

Brendan Duddy is Managing Director of the Duddy Group of Companies which is in the business of retail, hospitality and property. He is also Chairman of City Centre Initiative Limited.

Deirdre MacBride

Deirdre MacBride directs her consultancy MacBride International which specialises in social inclusion issues. Deirdre has previously worked in a range of community development, NGOs and partnerships. She has a longstanding interest in conflict and interface issues and is a member or the Committee for the Administration of Justice.

Of the new members of the Board Dawn Purvis will probably be the one individual to be most carefully scrutinised. Given her position as Chair of the PUP it’s difficult, if not impossible, to describe her as an Independent. Beyond that, there’s the issue of the connection between the PUP and the loyalist paramilitary UVF, which has been noted as recently as the 8th IMC Report on 1st February this year.

3.36 The level of UVF activity has therefore been less than it was in the six months covered by our previous report, mainly because of the ending of the feud with the LVF. Despite the welcome steps the leadership has taken on the feud and other crime we do not at this stage change our overall assessment of the organisation. It remains a continuing and serious threat to the rule of law and our previous phrase � active, violent and ruthless � still applies to it. We very much hope we will start to see this change.

and in connection to the role of the PUP, which remains under scrutiny by the IMC –

5.10 In the course of preparing this present report we have examined closely the role of the PUP in relation to the UVF and RHC, to which we refer in paragraphs 3.32 � 3.35. We note the considerable efforts on the part of the PUP leadership to end the UVF�s feud with the LVF in the late summer, and the lead it has given on the need for the UVF to change their attitude to violence and other crime. We believe the leadership has put energy into this positive step. There have been some indications of early progress and we hope that its efforts will show success. We will return to this matter in future reports. In the light of these developments we do not think that financial measures against the PUP are appropriate at this time.