Our Team

Tom McGonigle - Prisoner Ombudsman

Tom sets the strategic direction of the Prisoner Ombudsman’s Office and liaises with all key external bodies including the Northern Ireland Prison Service, the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust and the Coroners Service for Northern Ireland.  He engages closely with deceased prisoners’ next of kin, considers all Death in Custody and most Complaint reports. Tom operates independently of the Prison Service and reports directly to the Minister of Justice.

George Richardson - Director of Operations

George is responsible for managing the office of the Prisoner Ombudsman to ensure that all resources are directing at fulfilling the objectives of the office, advising on policy and procedural matters, liaison with key stakeholders, enhancing the public transparency of the office, and maximising prisoner accessibility.

Senior Investigating Officer – Death in Custody

The SIO has responsibility for performance management and quality assurance of all death in custody investigations including monitoring of any recommendations made.  The team also comprises two Investigators who are responsible for managing a caseload of death in custody investigations.

Senior Investigating Officer – Complaints

The SIO has responsibility for all performance management and quality assurance of Complaints and Serious Incidents including the implementation of recommendations.  The team also comprises three Investigators who are responsible for managing a caseload of complaint investigations.

Office Manager

The Ombudsman’s Office Manager and is responsible for maintaining office procedures.

Complaints Officer

The Complaints Officer handles calls to our Freephone service for prisoners, dealing with all their initial inquiries and supporting the investigators in the early stages of their work.