Belfast Telegraph

New man takes over at the helm of DRD

By Robin Morton

A new permanent secretary took office today at the Department for Regional Development in Belfast.

Paul Priestly (49) succeeds Gerry McGinn, who left in July to become senior executive of Goodbody Stockbrokers in Northern Ireland.

According to the recruitment advertisement, the post of permanent secretary at the DRD commands a salary of at least £98,059.

Mr Priestly is moving from his position as director of strategy and head of the economic policy and regeneration directorate in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

An old boy of Grosvenor Grammar School in Belfast, Mr Priestly studied at Belfast College of Business Studies and Queen's University.

He joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service as a graduate entrant in 1985 and has spent most of his career in the Northern Ireland Office.

In his previous job he was responsible for supporting the Northern Ireland Executive in preparing and delivering the Programme for Government 2008-11 and the Investment Strategy 2008-18.

Mr Priestly, who is from Carrowdore, is married to Pamela and has three children.

His outside interests include sailing, hill-walking, reading history and natural history, and playing the guitar.

Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy welcomed the appointment of Mr Priestly.

He said: "We have a major programme of work to deliver to improve our roads, transport and water and sewerage infrastructure.

"I very much look forward to working with him as we seek to address the challenges confronting the department in these areas."

Belfast Telegraph