Probation Service Appoints Cillian Smith, Principal Officer as Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications


The Probation Service is pleased to announce the appointment of Cillian Smith, Principal Officer as Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications at the Probation Service, commencing in April 2022.

Cillian has more than 23 years’ experience working with the Civil Service. He has held management positions across the Departments of Finance, Foreign Affairs and most recently, the Courts Service where he has been Principal Officer with responsibility for the Estates Management Unit since 2017. Before that Cillian was head of the organisations Public Private Partnership Unit. He has also worked as Registrar of the High Court and Central Criminal Court.

As well as overseeing the management of a diverse portfolio of 103 courthouse venues, Cillian has been directly involved in the Courts Service Modernisation Programme which aims to respond better to the needs of court users by making access to justice quicker and easier to navigate using new digital technology. As part of this process Cillian led the team developing a new Estate Strategy, which is due for publication shortly.

One of Cillian’s major achievements is the delivery and operational management of the Courts Bundle Public Private Partnership (PPP) Project. This innovative project saw the development of new courthouse buildings in Drogheda, Letterkenny, Limerick and Wexford and included the refurbishment and extension of courthouses in Cork, Mullingar and Waterford. The project was recently awarded Client & Service Provider Partnership of the Year at the 2022 Facilities Management Awards.

Prior to being involved in the Courts PPP Bundle, Cillian also had a lead role in the development and delivery of the Criminal Courts of Justice building.

Cillian holds a Bachelor of Natural Science from Trinity College Dublin and in 2018 completed the inaugural Criminal Justice Leadership Programme at the Institute of Public Administration in conjunction with the Strategic Committee for the Criminal Justice sector and the Department of Justice.

In congratulating Cillian on the appointment, Mark Wilson, Director of the Probation Service said,

"I am delighted to confirm Cillian's appointment as Principal Officer, Head of Corporate Affairs & Communications at the Probation Service. Cillian has a wealth of management experience across the public sector with particular expertise in change leadership, estate management and leading multi-discipline teams. Cillian has a clear passion for collaboration and driving modernisation initiatives which are central themes within our Strategy Statement 2021-2023. In addition, his respect and understanding of diversity and human rights align closely with the values and ethos of our organisation.

I am confident that Cillian will bring new energy, expertise and knowledge to the Probation Service that will allow us to further advance our strategic commitments and I would like to sincerely congratulate him on his appointment."