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.

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  • J Kelly

    At least Joe Byrne can win one open competition for his chances of winning an election are slim.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The decision by Hain to appoint someone like Dawn Purvis should not be a surprise, previous holders of his office have also been inconsistent in their dealing with manifestations of unionist violence. I have no problem with the appointee, although as a minor figure in a minor party she has no profile with which to gauge her competence.

    The problem is yet again for the DUP and their hypocritical stand on unionist violence. Only a few weeks ago Duper Deputy Leader leader Peter Robinson stated, quite categorically, that the DUP would withdraw from the Policing Board if SF were to join it. I believe he stated that the IRA had to be disbanded. This despite the fact that the SF electoraL ensures their right to two seats.
    In this instance we have a member of a party that are the self proclaimed spokespersons on behalf of the UVF. Will the DUP use the same yardstick for participation on the Policing Board for the unelected PUP appointee? Or is unionism to be yet again charged with hypocricy surrounding violence, some violence bad, other violence not so bad.

    I could detail the extent to which the UVF have failed to live up to their ceasefire and their failure to disarm under the auspices of the IICD, but the point is clear enough.

    Finally, the appointment of Joe Byrne as an independent is a joke. The man is an SDLP party hack, failure to describe him as anything other is a nonsense.

  • mark

    I’m surprised at Joe Byrne and Trevor Ringland being allowed to nominate and sit as ‘Independents’.

    When did they resign as members of the SDLP and UUP? Did they?

    Are they really just additional political appointees hidden under a false label of independence?

    They have both resigned? When?

    Is this a manipulation of the political arithmetic on the board via the covert appointment of additional favoured, politically affiliated members?

  • Pete Baker

    Given that the legislation allows Hain a completely free hand in who he appoints, while the Assembly is suspended, I’d suggest the ‘additional political appointees’ line is the lesser important aspect here.. apart from individual party political considerations, that is.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Without question the appointment of clearly political peoplez as ‘independents’ brings the system into some disrepute. However, given that Hain has done so, and continues to do so, there is one thing that I do find strange …

    Where is the Alliance Party ‘independent’ member?

    They are usually over-represented on quangos, they are all very nice law-abiding people, they do still receive some votes (more than the PUP), and yet Hain has overlooked them. Why?

  • mark


    It may be at the discretion of Hain whom he appoints but I wonder about the integrity of individuals applying for a post as an ‘independent’ (rather than being nominated as a political rep) when they are clearly engaged in political activity before, after and during the application process.

    Mr Hain may be happy with it, that doesn’t mean it is right.

    It certainly doesn’t exempt Mr Byrne from questions. He filled in the form and posted it while working for the SDLP. (Mr Ringland has the same question but to a lesser extent)

  • Pete Baker


    You’re not going to get around that aspect of the application process for those other seats on the Board unless you ban members of any of the political parties from applying.. an extremely unlikely position to either take.. or to justify.

    In contrast to the focus of the those who have commented so far, however, we have the Chair of the PUP, a party with links to the UVF.. which is cited in the most recent IMC report as being an active paramilitary and criminal organisation.. and some people don’t seem to have a problem with that appointment?

  • Jo

    Dawn is a very competent representative and I think she will do well in this role. I do agree that it stretches the semantics to describe her as Independent but I suspect this is to strengthen the politicisation of Loyalism processes, especially when combined with the UVF stance of the 2000 killings of McIlwaine and Robb.

  • RmC

    Sorry but I think the wrong questions are being asked here. How about this one: why are the nominees all individuals not noted for their imagination?

    Somebody else said this on Slugger recently but why do all the wrong people run for public office?

    Surely the policing board needs people with imagination, those who can think outside the box. If I look at the CV’s I don’t see much imagination at all, simply people whose “skill” is to move pieces about, and if they aren’t pushing pieces they’re pushing pens.

    The PB needs creative minds, people who can say “What if…”

    Unfortunately creative types aren’t attracted to institutions like the PB. So don’t expect any great ideas or innovations.


  • Pete Baker


    That politicisation – if it’s genuine – can, and should, take place without PUP representatives being granted such a role in policing by Hain, Powell et al.

  • the unnamed

    I thought all the parties nominated one ind? Cant remember the DUP one but last time the SDLP got Kelly, and the UUP Brookeborough, this time Byrne and Ringland.

  • mark


    I think it is disingenuous to suggest those who raise the issue of Mr Byrne and Mr Ringland do not have concerns over the PUP appointment.

    The MSM is mentioning the element you raise. The issues over Byrne and Ringland only seem to be raised here.

    One of the benefits I see in Slugger’s is there is no necessity to follow the given line and news, we can follow and discuss it all.

    This time we get to discuss possible duplicity by the SoS and SDLP in addition to the narrative set by the MSM and yourself.

    I still think that Mr Byrne lifting the pen and filling in an application form for an independent role while being paid for work on behalf of the SDLP is extremely suspect and casts doubts on his integrity and honesty (not the best position for one supposedly holding others to account). We all know Hain can and will do what he likes in this case, if that is Mr Byrnes defence it is a poor one IMO.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The Byrne case stands in it’s own merits. He was on the previous Policing Board as a SDLP party appointee. He is then comprehensively defeated in a democratic election and ends up a British grandee appointee.
    This does subvert the balance of the Policing Board. The SDLP now have 3 members on the board, ssomething that was meritted by their electoral performance.

    It is cynical and underhand.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    wasn’t meritted

  • unnamed

    But there is an ind whi is a UUP member and presumabably there is a DUP nominated ind too?

  • sohnlein

    Oh stop knit picking – no matter who was appointed u would all find something to moan about.

    Good luck to all of them, in performing what is in this country a thankless task.

    But particular good luck to the representative from the PUP – the more inclusion that is made for voices from the loyalist working class community the better
    for all.

  • baslamak

    I may have I misread these peoples CV’s, but almost every one of them in one way or another gets their daily bread from your man in the big house, the British State. Plus bar the odd one or two they all come from the middle classes, were all the working class folk killed in the troubles?

    If I was an old cynic I would suggest they could all be described as being quango ready. By the way, what is the drop for this type of ‘work’ these days, [sorry legitimate expenses.]

    posted by Baslamak

  • Young Fogey

    “J Kelly5” (sorry, your real name was eaten up by the system)

    for voices from the loyalist working class community the better
    for all.

    If the PUP are a ‘voice from the loyalist working-class community’ how come working-class loyalists don’t, you know, vote for them? I’d presume a party that gets about 5,000 votes across the country isn’t actually a voice that represents all that many people. So why to they get a seat on the policing board by government fiat?


    I suspect this is to strengthen the politicisation of Loyalism processes, especially when combined with the UVF stance of the 2000 killings of McIlwaine and Robb

    The usual far-left sociology lecture psychobabble. After 15 years of the ‘peace process’ that ‘politicising’ loyalist paramilitaries is British government speak for allowing them to carry on their racketeering and graft unmolested. As long as London is bombed the Brits don’t care all that much and as long as they can stop themselves from shooting random Catholics the Brits really don’t care at all.

    The electorate have shown time and time again that they aren’t really interested in the politicisation of loyalist paramilitaries by giving their political wings 1% of the vote in election after election. Your own view shows nothing but contempt for the electorate as does that of the British government. Are you sure you don’t want to dissolve the people and elect another?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I completely agree with what Pat has written.

    The appointment of Dawn Purvis to the board is disturbing by itself. Here is Peter Hain, awarding authority to people who offer the political process absolutely nothing – not even votes. Worse is the fact that the UVF have not decommissioned a single bullet, have not given any kind of indication that their war is over following their bloody feud with the LVF last summer. In fact I believe that the UVF ceasefire was de-recognized as a result. And the Chief Constable will partially be answerable to these people ? This appointment undermines the entire concept of the Police Board.

    But what is even more disturbing is that this, once again, is an example of double standards and a blind eye to ongoing violence and criminality by unionist politicians. Will the unionists share authority with an individual linked to an unreconstructed criminal organization ? It looks very much like they will. The silence among unionists on Slugger is already deafening. I expect – in time honoured fashion – that no unionist politicians will stick their necks above the water to condemn the appointment of a paramilitary-linked individual to the board. But the real question is – why ? Unionists keep telling us that loyalists have no support. So why is it so hard for unionists to lay down the law on them ? The answer is, of course, that loyalists are not as unpopular as they would like us to think.

    The single biggest political problem facing the political process here at the moment is the failure by unionists to confront loyalist violence. I could not possibly complain about their stated policy of refusing to deal with terrorists – the trouble is that this is not their policy. The unionist position of reaching out to loyalists still up to their necks in criminality, while spurning the hand of the republicans who are slowly extricating themselves from criminality – sends out an entirely wrong message to those who think that it’s OK to kill even their own constituents in pursuit of their criminal objectives.

    The electorate have shown time and time again that they aren’t really interested in the politicisation of loyalist paramilitaries by giving their political wings 1% of the vote in election after election.

    This is complete nonsense. The unionist electorate upholds the tolerance of loyalist paramilitarism by consistently electing politicians who have recently maintained a relationship – of sorts – with paramilitaries. William McCrea did not suffer electorally, apparently, for his appearance on a stage with Billy Wright. What if McCrea had appeared on a podium with the Balcombe Street gang, do you think he’d have swanned into South Antrim then ? And then last week you’ve the outrageous situation where Nigel Dodds is actively condemning the police over a situation where they arrested 14 members of an extremely dangerous and active paramilitary organization in the middle of their zone of influence. Please don’t try to kid people with this nonsense that unionists abhor loyalist paramilitarism. It is a total and utter lie, and a boil that needs to be lanced before we can get on with the serious business of making this country work together. The chuckies freely admit their paramilitary links and past – now it’s time for you to stop denying yours.

    Comrade Stalin

  • pitt park

    Perhaps Dawn will be able to tell everyone about the uvf takeover of Garnerville last summer and the subsequent uvf takeover of the drugs trade within the area.

    The uvf are a major player within the drugs trade here and control the supply of class a drugs within many unionist areas.

  • missfitz

    Just a word about the independents. While it is certainly correct the the SOS selects people, they have to have applied in the first place, so its not a compltetely open field.

    On the application form, the candidate has to declare any past particiaption in any political parties, so there is little room for saying there was no knowledge of past political links.

    Anyway, I wonder if all the references were taken up this time??

  • I find the appointment of Dawn Purvis deeply disturbing and deeply insulting. The trouble is that she has not been apponted as a member of the PUP but as an independent. I wonder if she would have been appointed if not for her PUP membership.

    I think it shameful!

  • J Kelly

    i dont think alex attwood and co will be too happy with the front page of todays Daily Ireland Brendan Duddy has said he fully supports CRJ and has used their services on hundreds of occasions over the past number of years. The one thing i will say about Duddy he is an “independent” because no knows better than him. He has an ego bigger than the guildhall clock. I dont know about now but he was a card carrying member of the SDLP for a long time.

    The big question is who goes if SF go on. I hope its byrne so it will be the second time SF takes his seat.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I think Dawn’s appointment has more to do with smoothing the way for a Sinn Fein appointment in the future than anything else.

    It is indeed concerning that the chair of a party linked to a terrorist group not on ceasefire is sitting on the Policing Board.

    Having said that, if anyone was going to be appointed, I’m glad it was Dawn and not anyone else. She’s in now, so unless she resigns, we’ll have to live with it. It won’t be easy for her either, but she has an opportunity to do something positive here, and we’ll be able to judge her performance soon enough I guess.

    All this conveniently create a precedent. If unionists aren’t prepared to complain about Dawn Purvis’s appointment, the Government will be able to counter Unionist opposition more effectively when a member of Sinn Fein is appointed next time round.

  • Pete Baker

    I think Dawn’s appointment has more to do with smoothing the way for a Sinn Fein appointment in the future than anything else.

    That’s almost certainly a consideration in the appointment, Gonzo.. but it’s probably not the primary reason for that appointment.. and it’s not the message that it sends out.

    It is indeed concerning that the chair of a party linked to a terrorist group not on ceasefire is sitting on the Policing Board.

    Given the rest of your comment.. I’d suggest that a closer focus on the implications of that appointment is necessary – think a little more about where those concerns lead.

  • stephen cooper

    wouldnt it be better Mick , if you listed in the bios as to which party each ind member was a member of?

    If any of course….lol.

  • Pounder

    I resent the idea that the PUP are considered the only representatives for working class loyalists. Dawn Purvis is only an MLA riding on the memory of David Ervine which no political skills of her own. Her own election campain basically focused on do it for David. I will also echo Stephen Copeland, where are the real nuterals in this? Does Hain really believe that Northern Ireland really is just Green and Orange amd the middle ground doesn’t deserve a say?

    Also as far as drug dealing goes do the republicnas here really think the provies never sold a pill or joint? Every country has it’s gangsters and racketeers but here they can get away with it more saying they’re only doing it for Ireland or Ulster.