Appointments to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission
31 May 2018
The Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, today welcomed the appointment by President Higgins of seven members to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
Minister Stanton said: “A strong, independent human rights and equality Commission is vital to ensuring that the rights of people are protected and vindicated and that human rights and equality is at the heart of the work of our public service. The Commissioners designate reflect a broad range of experiences and backgrounds and will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to their new roles.”
The seven members appointed join Chief Commissioner Emily Logan and seven existing Commission members, putting the Commission at its full complement of fifteen. In accordance with the 2014 Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act, this ensures a continuing gender balance with eight women and seven men.
Note for editors
The Commissioners appointed are as follows:
Frank Conaty (second term) – Founder member of ‘Hope 4 Disability’, Chair of the National Parents & Siblings Alliance (2008-12), Fellow of the ICAI, Lecturer with NUIG.
Heydi Foster-Breslin (second term) – CEO of Misean Cara who work with vulnerable and marginalised communities across the globe, with particular focus on the needs of women and children, refugees, displaced people and people with disabilities. Non-Executive Director of Dóchas and formerly CEO of Exchange House National Travellers Service.
Salome Mbugua Henry – Former CEO and current Honorary President of AkiDwA (African & Migrant Women’s Network. Has been a board member of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, European Network of Migrant Women and member of the National Steering Committee on Violence Against Women.
Prof. Caroline Fennell – Irish Research Council, Irish Council for Humanities and Social Sciences, Dean of UCC Law faculty and extensive experience with gender and equality rights in the criminal justice system.
Patrick Connolly – CEO Inclusion Ireland which represents persons with an intellectual disability and with expertise in the UN CRPD. In addition was CEO of Cairde, working with HIV/AIDS support groups along with many new communities to Ireland.
Tony Geoghegan – CEO of Merchants Quay Ireland, with expertise in homelessness, addiction and drug services, social inclusion and human rights.
Colm O’Dwyer S.C. – Chair of Ruhama who provide services to sex workers and victims of sex trafficking. Further experience as legal advisor to FLAC, Chair of the Bar Council Human Rights Committee, and with a practice working in Asylum and human rights law.
They will join Chief Commissioner Emily Logan and Commissioners Orlagh O’Farrell, Prof. Siobhan Mullally, Sunniva McDonagh, Teresa Blake, David Joyce, Prof. Ray Murphy, and Fidele Muwarasibo, whose term will expire on 31 October 2019.