The first meeting of the new general assembly took place on Saturday, 13 October.

Board Appointments

The governing body of the Irish Red Cross elected a new board on Saturday. Six independent persons external to the organisation were nominated onto the General Assembly, four of whom have taken up positions on the board. The four candidates welcomed to the board are Conor Molloy, Dr Muiris Ó’Céidigh, Olivia Mitchell and Claire Rush.

Pat Carey was re-elected to the position of chairperson and Olivia Mitchell has been elected to the position of vice chairperson of the organisation. Sheila Callan was re-elected as treasurer for a three-year period and Barry O’Donovan was re-elected for a one-year period to retain his expertise and knowledge.

The four new independent board members bring with them significant expertise which will be of great benefit to the organisation.

Olivia Mitchell
Olivia was educated at Trinity College Dublin where she qualified with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics & Politics and a Higher Diploma in Education. Before entering politics, she was a teacher of Economics. Olivia served on Dublin/Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council from 1985-2003 and was Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council from 1995 to 1996. She served as a member on the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation from 1994-1996. Olivia was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1997 and re-elected in 2002, 2007 and 2011. She received the highest vote of any female candidate in the 2011 General Election. She was a member of the Fine Gael Front Bench from 2001 to 2010 where she served as party spokesperson on various issues including Health & Children, Transport, and Arts, Sport and Tourism. Olivia was also a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs. She was also Chair of the Oireachtas Women’s All-Party Interest Group on Development and Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights. Olivia was also a long time member of AWEPA – European Parliamentarians with Africa, and served on the AWEPA executive committee. For several years, Olivia was a member of the Council of Europe. As a member of the Parliamentary Assembly, she sat on the Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons Committee and was an alternate member of the Political Affairs and Democracy Committee.

Claire Rush
Claire Rush is a qualified solicitor with a vast array of experience and knowledge in policy development and international human rights law. She has over eight years of experience in the area of policy development/application and also legal challenges relating to content shared online and how it can impact upon the rights of others. She has a lifelong interest in human rights law and its advancement. While studying for a Masters in Queen’s University in Belfast, Claire volunteered for the Red Cross to teach humans rights and humanitarian law awareness to students in a number of secondary schools there. She currently volunteers in her spare time with a local charity in Dun Laoghaire that works with elderly people in the area.

Conor Molloy
Conor Molloy has been approved by the Central Bank of Ireland as Board Member since 2010. Conor has been pre-approved by Central Bank Ireland for Board, Risk Committee, Remuneration Committee and Audit & Financial Control functions.

Conor has been an Audit Committee Chair and Board Member of a leading international reinsurance group since June 2010. He has also been a Board Member and Audit Chair of an international life and general insurance group since September 2011.

Conor has extensive governance, board advisory, business strategy, risk management and regulatory advisory experience. He has qualifications in directorship, accounting (FCCA, ACCA and CPA), as well as a B.Com. He has been employed in the Department of Finance and is currently employed as a Director in the Financial Services Sector.

Dr Muiris Ó’Céidigh
Dr Muiris Ó’Céidigh holds a Doctorate in Governance from Queen’s University Belfast where he conducted research into media, power and emerging civil and human rights. He was appointed as a non-executive director of the Economic Research Institute of Northern Ireland by the UK government in 2003. He is also a Trustee of the Institute for Conflict Research in Belfast. Muiris practised as a commercial lawyer with A&L Goodbody for several years, specialising in financial products. His primary degree was a BA in law and sociology from NUI Galway and this was followed by an LLB while he also holds an MBA from Trinity and has completed a MSc (Economics) in Trinity. In addition, Muiris has graduated with an MA in Public Management from the Institute of Public Administration. Muiris is CEO of the National Milk Agency, a Director of the Irish Architectural Foundation, and of An Taisce - The National Trust for Ireland. He has lectured at the University of Paris 1 – Sorbonne on the common law system and it history, and at the Institute of Public Administration. He is currently the Academic Director of the Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management. He recently successfully completed the Oxford University Fintech program and has a particular interest in data protection, regulation, blockchain applications and associated privacy and IP rights.

The Irish Red Cross is very pleased to bring this financial, legal, political and governance expertise on board. These developments provide an opportunity for the Society, which in coming months will be prioritising the completion and the launch of our new strategy.

The Board members for the coming term are as follows;

Pat Carey (Chairperson)
Olivia Mitchell (Vice Chairperson)
Sheila Callan (National Treasurer)
Barry O’Donovan (National Secretary)
Dr Muiris O’Ceidigh
Conor Molloy
Claire Rushe
Brian Byrne
Mareike Eccleston
Julie O’Brien
Ted Noonan
Kieran Meehan
Cepta Dowling
The final board position will be filled shortly.

Chairs of Working Groups
At Saturday’s meeting, the General Assembly also elected Ted Noonan as chairperson of the Volunteer Development Working Group, Tony Lawlor as chairperson of the Training Working Group and Sean Mason as chairperson of the International Advisory Group.

We are looking forward to what we can achieve together in 2018 and making plans for 2019, which is the 80th anniversary of the Irish Red Cross. 

Irish Red Cross

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