Eight New Commission Members Proposed for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’) has today welcomed the Government’s recommendation of eight new Commission Members to be proposed for appointment to serve on the Commission.

The eight new Commission Members proposed are:

  • Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland
  • Michael Finucane, Solicitor
  • Adam Harris, CEO and founder of AsIAm
  • Kathleen Lynch, Sociologist and former Professor of Equality Studies, UCD
  • Rosaleen McDonagh, Traveller woman with a disability, Playwright and IHREC Disability Advisory Committee member
  • Lucy Michael, Sociologist, Independent Researcher
  • Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUIG
  • Ray Murphy, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUIG

The announcement comes after an open and transparent competition held by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).

As set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014, once the PAS selection process is completed, Commission Members must be approved through resolutions of both Houses of the Oireachtas and are then formally appointed by President Michael D. Higgins.

This process is in line with international standards for National Human Rights Institutions (the UN Paris Principles). Together with the pending appointment of Ms. Sinéad Gibney to the post of Chief Commissioner, who was selected after a similar independent PAS process, the appointments will bring the Commission to its full complement of fifteen members.

Dr. Frank Conaty, Acting Chief Commissioner welcomed today’s announcement:

“These proposed appointments will bring significant practical, academic and legal experience and expertise to the work of the Commission.

“Once confirmed by the Oireachtas and President Higgins, new Commission Members will join in the work of fulfilling the Commission’s statutory mandate to protect and promote human rights and equality in the State.”


For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,

01 8589601 / 087 0697095


Visit our website www.ihrec.ie or follow us on twitter and Instagram @_IHREC

Note to Editor 

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures. The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014, Article 12 sets out the Membership of Commission, while Article 13 sets out Appointment of members of Commission.

The UN Paris Principles constitute a set of internationally recognised standards to assess the independence and effectiveness of national human rights institutions. Included in these standards, is an inclusive and transparent selection and appointment process.

The ECRI General Policy Recommendation No. 2 states that persons holding leadership positions in equality bodies should be selected and appointed by transparent, competency-based and participatory procedures.