Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.35 19 Feb 2020


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The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) has welcomed Government approval for Sinéad Gibney to be named as chief commissioner.

The announcement comes after her selection through an open competition by the Public Appointment Service (PAS).

Commission members also have to be approved through resolutions of both Houses of the Oireachtas.

They are then formally appointed by President Michael D Higgins.

In August 2019, the commission wrote to the justice minister about upcoming appointments.

The commission holds the highest possible ‘A’ status accreditation under the United Nations mechanism of accreditation for such institutions.

Professor Caroline Fennell, acting chief commissioner, has also welcomed the announcement.

"Sinéad Gibney brings significant experience and expertise to the commission, and to the role of chief commissioner.

"As our second chief commissioner Sinéad Gibney will, once appointed, play a pivotal role in our work to build a just and inclusive society that protects and promotes human rights and equality in Ireland."

She also paid tribute to the commission’s first chief commissioner, Emily Logan, who steered the commission from its 2014 establishment and oversaw growth.

Acting Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “I was pleased to be able to bring a recommendation to Government following the independent recruitment competition recently run by the Public Appointments Service.

"Ms Sinéad Gibney is an excellent candidate and I would hope that resolutions can be brought to each House of the Oireachtas recommending the appointment to this important role at the earliest opportunity."

“I want to thank Emily Logan for her hard work and dedicated public service as chief commissioner, in particular her contribution to the establishment of the commission following the passing of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014.”

Ms Gibney had run as a candidate for the Social Democrats in Dún Laoghaire in the recent general election, but subsequently withdrew as she was no longer in a position to contest a seat.

She previously held positions at Trinity College Dublin, aid agency Goal and Carr Communications.

She has also worked at tech giant Google as head of social action.

The IHREC is Ireland’s national human rights institution and recognised as such by the United Nations.

It is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.


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Charlie Flanagan Irish Human Rights And Equality Commission Michael D Higgins Oireachtas Professor Caroline Fennell Public Appointment Service Sinéad Gibney

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