The Press Council has 13 members. Seven of these, including the Chairman, are drawn from suitably qualified persons representative of a broad spectrum of Irish society. The remaining six members of the Press Council provide senior editorial and journalistic expertise and perspectives reflective of the press industry.
The independent Chairman of the Press Council is Mr Dáithí O'Ceallaigh.
The Press Council of Ireland: independent members
Dáithí O’Ceallaigh was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Press Council of Ireland for a three year term to commence on 01 August 2010, he was reconfirmed for a second term in 2013. He succeeds Professor Tom Mitchell, who served as Chairman since the establishment of the Council in January 2007.
A native of Dun Laoghaire, Mr O’Ceallaigh has enjoyed a distinguished diplomatic career spanning more than 35 years. Having graduated from UCD, he and his wife Antoinette spent three years as volunteer teachers in Zambia, before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1973. He went on to assume posts in Moscow, London, Belfast, New York, Finland and Estonia, before serving as Ambassador to London for 6 years from 2001. He was subsequently appointed Ambassador to the UN, World Trade Organisation and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
In 2008, in Croke Park, he headed a small Irish team which negotiated the
Convention to Prohibit Cluster Munitions which cause unacceptable harm to civilians.
Mr O’Ceallaigh retired from the Foreign Service in 2009. He is currently Director General (part time) of the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin.
Mr O’Ceallaigh is married with two children.
Patrick O'Connor is a Solicitor, Coroner, Arbitrator and Notary Public. He is a member of a number of professional and regulatory bodies and associations including The Law Society of Ireland, The Law Societies of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Superior Court Rules Committee, Brabazon Park Trustees, Mental Health Tribunal, and the IRB, ERC, 6 Nations and IRFU Disciplinary panels. Mr O'Connor has previously served as member, chairman or director of a wide range of organisations including the O'Dwyer Forestry Foundation, the Board of Management of St. Louis Community School, Hope House, the Irish Association of Suicidology, the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board and the Courts Services Board. He has held various offices within the Law Society of Ireland most notably as President (1998-99).
Professor Áine Hyland
Professor Áine Hyland was appointed to the Press Council for a three year term as an independent member in August 2010, and reconfirmed for a second term in 2013. She has an extensive background in education, serving on several committees including the Commission on the Points System and the Commission on School Accommodation, and has served as Chair of the Statutory Educational Disadvantage Committee, and the NESF Group on Literacy and Social Inclusion.
Professor Hyland has served as Vice-President of University College Cork, and as Professor of Education in UCC. She also currently serves as member of the European Universities Association Institutional Evaluation Team, Ageing Well Network, The Governing Body of the National College of Ireland and the Irish Bar Council’s Tribunal of Complaints against Barristers.
Professor Hyland lives in Dublin and has three daughters and six grandchildren.
Patricia Sisk Taormina
Patricia Sisk Taormina was appointed to the Press Council
as an independent member for a three year term from May 2012. She was called to the Bar of Ireland in 1995 and she remains in practice as a Barrister. In 2004, she qualified as an Accredited Mediator.
She was appointed a Chairperson of the Mental Health Tribunals from the time of their inception in 2006 and she continues in such capacity in the Munster region. In 2007, she qualified as a Psychotherapist having completed her degree and, in 2010, she completed a Masters training in Integrative Psychotherapy at the Metanoia Institute, London.
She is a member of the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Psychotherapy Integration (UKAPI) in London and is actively involved in postgraduate educational projects in mental health and psychotherapy in Cork. She has also lectured in law at a number of institutions over the years since qualifying as a Barrister.
Her particular interests include the fields of therapeutic jurisprudence, civil (involuntary) psychiatric detention and the law, and legal and ethical issues pertaining to clinical practice and mental health.
Born and raised in London, she has resided in Cork since 1981.
Ann Carroll has been appointed to the Press Council as an independent member for a three year term from October 2013. Ann Carroll is a native of Dublin and taught English at second level for many years. She is an author of children’s fiction and has run a number of courses in the genre at U.C.D.
Denis Doherty was appointed to the Press Council as an independent member for a three year term from October 2013. Denis Doherty began his public service career in local government. He has worked in healthcare since 1972. He was CEO, Midland Health Board, CEO Mid Western Health Board, Director, Office for Health Management, Director, Health Boards Executive.
He now works as a Healthcare Consultant. He is a Director of the Irish Hospice Foundation and the Health Management Institute of Ireland.
Peter Feeney was appointed to the Press Council of Ireland as an independent member, for a three year term in October 2013. As RTÉ's Head of Broadcast Compliance and Freedom of Information Officer he managed for over ten years RTÉ's processes in dealing with complaints to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. He was also responsible for the production of guidelines and training in programme standards. As FOI Officer he handled over one thousand requests from journalists and members of the public for records held by RTÉ and simultaneously advised RTÉ programme-makers on their own use of FOI to obtain records. He was also involved in training Irish universities when the FOI Act was extended to cover universities. He advised the BBC when the UK FOI Act was enacted. Peter Feeney is a member of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform's FOI Implementation Review Group. Prior to Compliance and FOI he was from 1990 to 1997 Editor of Current Affairs Television in RTÉ. Before joining RTÉ he lectured in politics in the University of Ulster. He left RTÉ at the end of 2012. He is now involved in a consultancy service, Kelleher Feeney Compliance.
The Press Council of Ireland: industry members
Paul Drury served as managing editor of Associated Newspapers Ireland from 2008 until 2011 and now works as a freelance columnist and commentator. A native of Dublin, he was the launch editor of the Irish Daily Mail in 2006. In a journalistic career spanning more than 30 years, he also served as editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday, Ireland on Sunday, the Evening Herald, the Irish Daily Star and the weekly Irish language newspaper, Amárach, as well as holding a number of senior editorial positions with the Irish Independent. He has a BA in Journalism from DIT.
Publishing entrepreneur Norah Casey is owner and CEO of Harmonia, Ireland's largest magazine publishing company, printing over four million magazines annually for the Irish, British and US market. In Ireland she publishes a range of market leading magazines including strong women's brands, Irish Tatler, Woman's Way, U and specialist titles such as Food&Wine, CookBook, Irish Tatler Man, Eat Out, Auto Ireland and Ireland of the Welcomes.
Norah is Ireland’s current Publisher of the Year, having won the award no fewer than four times. She is also a member of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, the London-based Women's Irish Network and The International Women's Forum. She was awarded The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award for 2007/8.
Dave O’Connell is Group Editor of the Connacht Tribune, a role he has held for the past six years.
A graduate of journalism at the College of Commerce in Rathmines in 1983, he started as a reporter with the Connacht Tribune that year before moving to the then-Cork Examiner in 1989. He was promoted to Deputy Editor and News Editor of the Cork Evening Echo before leaving to take up a role as Assistant News Editor with the Star in 1995.
He worked as News Editor and Night Editor there until he departed for the Westmeath Independent in 2001, where he was appointed editor – a role that was subsequently expanded to Group Editor with the Westmeath Examiner Group, serving as editor of the Westmeath Examiner, Westmeath Independent and Offaly Independent.
A regular presenter and contributor with RTE, he has presented Saturday View, Grassroots (a series on local government) and Late Debate as well as filling in as presenter on Drivetime, Today with Pat Kenny and Tonight with Vincent Browne.
A native of Oughterard, Co Galway, he is married to the RTE journalist Teresa Mannion and they have two sons, Cian and Tom.
Michael has had a distinguished media career spanning editorial, commercial and managerial levels.
Until recently he was a Chief Executive within the international media group, Independent News and Media plc. He led the company’s publishing, digital and printing operations across Northern Ireland where he spearheaded a major re-structuring of the Belfast Telegraph newspaper division and was responsible for dynamic innovation across the company’s publishing and commercial websites.
During a media career spanning 40 years he has also edited the Irish Independent, The Evening Herald and was re-launch Editor of the Irish Star before joining Sunday Newspapers as managing director where he developed the Sunday World into Ireland’s best selling newspaper.
Michael has served on the Board of the National Newspapers of Ireland and was a member of the industry committee which set up the Press Council of Ireland. He is currently Chairman of the Sunday World and chairs the National Newspapers of Ireland Journalism Awards Committee.
Deaglán de Bréadún
Deaglán de Bréadún was nominated to the Press Council by the National Union of Journalists. He was formerly Father of the NUJ Chapel at the Irish Times. Positions held during many years at the paper included Northern Editor, Political Correspondent, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Temporary Moscow Correspondent, Irish Language Editor and Feature Writer/Sub-Editor.
He took voluntary redundancy at the end of 2012 and later became Local Radio Correspondent with the Houses of the Oireachtas where he spent a year broadcasting accounts of proceedings at Leinster House to radio stations around the country.
In March 2014, he was appointed Political Editor of the Irish Sun. He is the author of a comprehensive account of the peace process, entitled "The Far Side of Revenge: Making Peace in Northern Ireland" (Collins Press, 2001 and 2008) and a collection of short stories in Irish entitled "Sceallóga (Chips)", published by Comhar Teo. His coverage of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement won the IPR/BT Northern Ireland press and broadcast award for daily news journalism.
A native of Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, his family moved to Dublin, where he attended CBS Synge Street and UCD, graduating with a master's degree in Anglo-Irish literature.
Patrick Smyth is an Irish Times duty editor, primarily responsible for leader writing and foreign policy, and is currently editing its Century project. He is a former Foreign Editor and Opinion Editor, and has served as the paper’s Washington and European Correspondent.