12/03/2018 - Selection Panel

Minister Katherine Zappone has this week announced the members of a Selection Panel, to manage the appointment process to the Collaborative Forum for former residents of Mother and Baby Homes.

The members of the selection panel will work together to design a public information campaign and will select representative members from those persons who express an interest in participating in this process. The Collaborative Forum will consist of 20 members including the Forum Chair Mr. Gerry Kearney.

The Panel comprises of:

  • Ms. Teresa Blake SC - Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission
  • Ms. Clodagh Malone – Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors
  • Ms. Mari Steed – Adoption Rights Alliance
  • Mr. Fintan Dunne – Irish First Mothers
  • Dr. James Gallen – Dublin City University
  • Professor Patricia Lundy - Ulster University

Minister Zappone has asked Mr Jim Halley of 2Collaborate to lead and facilitate the process.  Mr Halley is an internationally respected mediator and facilitator and he will continue in his role of facilitating the process of engagement with former residents.

Further information and biographies of the Selection Panel can be found here.

Advertisements will be placed in the national media in the coming weeks seeking expressions of interest from persons who want to participate as members of the Collaborative Forum.

Appointment of Gerry Kearney as Forum Chair

Last month it was confirmed in the Dáil that Mr Gerry Kearney had accepted Minister Zappone’s invitation to Chair the Collaborative Forum.

Over the course of his career Mr Kearney has demonstrated a strong commitment to Public Service. Gerry previously served as Secretary General (SG) in the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. He has subsequently served as Chair of the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee, the National Concert Hall, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and the DCU incorporation process. He has also chaired the Moore Street Consultative Group.

His experience will be of considerable benefit to the Forum in developing proposals and framing their recommendations.

Public Consultations on the Future of Tuam Site.

Following the publication of the Expert Technical Group’s Report, Minister Zappone asked Galway County Council to facilitate an independent consultation process on the five options as presented in the report. As part of this process Galway County Council held a number of meetings on Monday 5th, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th of March. These consultations were hosted by independent facilitators and attended by members of the Expert Technical Group, who made presentations and were available to answer questions from the participants.

Galway County Council is also accepting written submissions up until Friday the 16th of March. These submissions and the contributions from the consultations will be used by the independent facilitators to produce a report.

The Department has been contacted by a number of people in relation to this consultation process and the
feedback received has been relayed to the Council.

The Department has been advised that the process is designed to facilitate maximum participation by all parties while ensuring that there is an opportunity for respondents to indicate a preferred course of action.

The guidance for submissions while requesting each respondent to clearly indicate their preferred course of action, importantly also provides an opportunity for the respondent to provide their own comments.

The report on the consultation process to be submitted to the Inter-Departmental Group will be prepared by the Restorative Dialogue Facilitators based on the submissions received and the outcomes of the consultation events. This report will be a factual account of the consultation process and will not contain any recommendations. It will be a matter for the Inter-Departmental Group to consider the report and make appropriate recommendations to the Minister.

Submission forms can be found on the Galway County Council website here

Special Rapporteur on Child Protection

The Special Rapporteur on Child Protection Dr Geoffrey Shannon has been asked to examine a number of human rights issues identified in the Expert Team’s Report . Dr Shannon’s report will inform the deliberations of the inter-departmental committee and their proposals to Minister Zappone.