The Probation Service is pleased to announce the appointment of Fíona Ní Chinnéide as Deputy Director at the Probation Service. Fiona will take up the position in February 2022 and will succeed Ita Burke, former Deputy Director at the Probation Service who retired in July 2021.
Fiona has more than 25 years’ experience working the area of advocacy in Ireland and Europe, with particular focus on human rights and anti-discrimination. She has extensive experience of the criminal justice sector in Ireland and is currently the Executive Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT), Ireland’s leading NGO advocating for evidence-led progressive reform of Irish penal policy. She has held this role since February 2019. She was Deputy Director from 2014 to 2019 and led on the strategic communications programme of the organisation from 2009.
Over this time, she has contributed to IPRT’s effective research and advocacy programme in various justice areas, including community sanctions, youth justice, sentencing reform, spent convictions, post-release and rehabilitation supports, and accountability in the penal system. A commitment to human rights, equality and social inclusion underscores all of IPRT’s work.
From 2018-2021, Fíona was on the Board of Directors of Community Creations Ltd, which runs SpunOut.ie and Crisis Text Line Ireland, a text-based mental health support service.
Fíona holds undergraduate and post-graduate degrees from Trinity College Dublin. In 2015, she completed an M.A. in Political Communications at Dublin City University, where her research interests centred on media, public opinion and policy change. In 2018, she completed the Leadership Development for Transition and Change programme with Social Intelligence Associates. She is currently undertaking the Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality at the Institute of Public Administration.
In congratulating Fíona on the appointment, Mark Wilson, Director of the Probation Service said, “I am delighted to confirm Fiona’s appointment as Deputy Director at the Probation Service. She has a wealth of experience across the criminal justice sphere in Ireland and across Europe. Fiona has a clear passion for social inclusion and human rights which are central themes within our Strategy Statement 2021-2023 and I am confident that she will bring valuable innovation, expertise and knowledge to the Service that will allow us to further advance our strategic commitments. I would like to sincerely congratulate Fiona on this well-deserved appointment.”