Term of office ends for first Human Rights Commissioners

“I wish to pay tribute to all Commissioners who have served with such commitment and diligence on the first board of the Irish Human Rights Commission" stated the President of the IHRC, Dr. Maurice Manning, today marking the end of the first 5-year term of the Commission.

“Fourteen Commissioners were appointed in July 2001 amidst considerable controversy. It is a testament to their determination and dedication that the Commission went on to work in a very cohesive and co-operative manner. The Commission has brought human rights expertise and analysis to bear on a range of contemporary issues in Ireland. We have made contributions domestically on administration of justice issues, racism, gender issues, economic and social rights, most recently on extraordinary renditions. Internationally we have taken a leading role in the development of the United Nations draft disability treaty, we have appeared before UN Committees during the examinations of State Reports on racism and discrimination against women. Our contribution internationally is evidenced by our membership of the European Co-ordinating Committee of European National Institutions as well as on the International Co-ordinating Committee of National Institutions. Collectively we can be proud of the achievements of the past five years and, in this context, I wish to also pay tribute to my predecessor, Mr. Justice Donal Barrington, the first President of the Commission".

The Commission, which was established by statute in accordance with the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, is an independent statutory body mandated to ensure that Irish law and practice are in line with highest standards as set out in the Constitution and in international human rights agreements to which Ireland is a party.

“The outgoing Commissioners are bequeathing a substantial body of work to their successors. The Commission is now firmly established and is perceived, nationally and internationally, to be an authoritative voice in the promotion and protection of human rights in Ireland. The challenge for the incoming Commissioners is to sustain and to build upon the achievements of the Commission to date. To this end I look forward to working with the new Commissioners" stated Dr. Alpha Connelly, Chief Executive of the IHRC.

The Government is expected to announce the composition of the new Commission in the coming weeks.

For further information, please contact:

Mary Ruddy

Senior Human Rights Awareness Officer

Irish Human Rights Commission.

Jervis House,

Jervis Street,

Dublin 1.
Tel. 01 8589 601
Mobile: 087 2400695
E-mail: info@ihrc.ie
Website : http://www.ihrc.ie

Notes for Editor

Note 1.

The Human Rights Commission has 15 members, appointed by the Government for a period of 5 years. Most members formally assumed office on 25 July 2001. Judge Donal Barrington served as President of the Commission until 31st July 2002. The current President, Dr. Maurice Manning, assumed office on 1 August, 2002 for a five year period. Ms. Jane Liddy served on the Commission until 1st March 2004. She was replaced by Maureen Harding Clark who assumed office on 11th May 2004.

The fourteen Commissioners are as follows:

Prof. William Binchy; Olive Braiden ; Martin Collins; Prof. Robert Daly, Suzanne Egan; Maureen Harding Clark; Michael Farrell; Nuala Farrell; Clodach McGrory; Prof. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin; Tom O’Higgins; Prof Gerard Quinn; Mervyn Taylor and Katherine Zappone.

Biographical notes on all Commissioners can be found on the Commission’s website www.ihrc.ie

Note 2.

In March 2006 the Government appointed a selection panel to shortlist names of applicants suitable for appointment by the Government to the Human Rights Commission. The members of the panel are:

The Honourable Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, Judge of the Supreme Court; Senator Maurice Hayes; Mr Paddy McEntee, Senior Counsel; and Ms. Karen Erwin, Chairperson of the Equality Authority.

The Human Rights Commission Acts require that Commissioners must be suitably qualified by reason of their position, experience, qualification, training or expertise having regard to the functions conferred in the Act. The Act also requires that membership of the Commission should be reflective of society and that there must be a gender balance.

Irish Human Rights Commission

4th Floor

Jervis House

Jervis Street

Dublin 1

01 8589601

info@ihrc.ie

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