Board Structure

The Board is constituted as follows:

Board Chair:

Mr Dale Ashford QFSM

Dale Ashford served the public of Northern Ireland for 30 years in various roles within the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue service before retiring, in 2017, having been Interim Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, and serving in operational roles at every level. During his time in NIFRS he served as head of training and development and was responsible for regulatory enforcement as well as leading on the Services approach to prevention and community engagement. He has served as an independent Member of the NI Prison Service Management Board and a Non-executive Director of the NI ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust Board. He was awarded the Queen’s Fire Service Medal in 2015 in recognition of his services

Deputy Board Chair: 

Mr Neil Bodger

Neil Bodger has been involved in managerial and company finance at Senior Manager or Director Level for over 30 years.. Mr Bodger has been the Panel Chair of the Education Authority Appeals Tribunals for 19 years, 1998 to date. He has worked as a Chair of Audit and Risk Management Committees 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 Vice-Chair of the Business Support Committee of Libraries NI (£2,500 p.a.).

Board Members:

Dr Jonny Byrne

Dr Byrne is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Applied Social and Policy Studies at Ulster University. He is also a member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board’s young people’s reference group, and is an independent member of the PSNI culture, Ethics and Diversity Board. He has a wealth of experience of engaging with a diverse range of audiences in the public and private sector.

Mrs Judith Gillespie CBE

Judith Gillespie left the Police Service of Northern Ireland as Deputy Chief Constable in March 2014. She is currently a Commissioner with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland for which she receives remuneration of £5,000 per annum and a serving Probation Board Member remunerated at £5,050 per annum. Mrs Gillespie brings to the role a wealth of experience in leading and setting the strategic direction of a large organisation.

Mr Dave Wall

David Wall worked in the voluntary sector for twenty years followed by 15 years in the civil service as a Director in the Department of Social Development; he has also held a number of public and voluntary appointments. He is currently on the Board of Governors at Braidside Integrated Primary School, and is a serving Probation Board Member remunerated at £5,050 per annum. He brings to the Board a detailed knowledge of the public sector and has extensive experience in dealing with the dynamics of local neighbourhoods and socially deprived areas. He is currently carrying out research as part of a part time PhD at Ulster University investigating methods of evaluation for community development in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Mr Kieran Donaghy

Kieran Donaghy retired as Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development from the Southern Health & Social Care Trust in August 2016. He currently sits on the Audit Committee of the Charity Commission as independent member. He has held this voluntary role since 2015. Mr Donaghy brings to the role a wealth of experience in change management, and has extensive knowledge of corporate governance issues, particularly within the public sector.

Mr Paul Douglas

Paul Douglas was District Manager and then District Commander in the PSNI, where he worked closely with the District Policing Partnerships. He was previously a Non-Executive Director in the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland; a member of the NI Audit Committee and a Lay Representative in the Pharmaceutical Society; and is currently a Lay Commissioner for the Northern Judicial Appointments Commission (£294 per day). He also currently holds a non-executive role within the Environment Agency (£500 per day)

Mr Gearoid OhEara

Gearoid OhEara has served on the Board of Directors of public bodies for over 30 years including Foras na Gaeilge, Arts Council NI, WELB the Northern Ireland Policing board, and is currently a member of the Probation Board remunerated at £5,050 per annum. He was an elected member of Derry City council and was Mayor in 2004-05.

Ms Patricia Keenan

Patricia Keenan is a consultant and has worked with a diverse range of groups. From 2010 to 2014 she was a Board member for the Local Action Group in the Armagh and Newry council areas, which delivered rural development funding to the local voluntary and business community.

Mr Max Murray CBE

Max Murray worked for the Northern Ireland Prison Service for 37 years, and was both a Governor and a Director, 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.