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
Mr Dáithí O’Ceallaigh
Mr 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 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.
Seamus Boland has worked extensively in the community and voluntary sector and is currently CEO of Irish Rural Link and chairman of the WHEEL. He is a member of the National Economic and Social Council. He is also a member of the NDP monitoring committee and the monitoring committee of the Border Midland and Regional Assembly. Additionally, he is a member of the Community and Voluntary Pillar of National Social Partnership.
Professor Maeve McDonagh
Professor Maeve McDonagh is a Solicitor who is currently an Associate Professor of Law in UCC. Through her research and teaching she has extensive experience in the areas of freedom of information law, privacy/data protection law and human rights law. She has published a number of books, academic papers, conference reports and newspaper articles focusing on these areas. As well as being on a number of university committees, she is also a member of the Freedom of Information Users Advisory Committee.
Dr Eleanor O'Higgins
Dr Eleanor O'Higgins is on the faculty of the School of Business at UCD and a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She specialises in teaching, research and publications in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and strategic management. She is the author of numerous papers in academic and professional journals, newspaper articles, book chapters and case studies. She is on the editorial boards of a number of international management journals and has held a range of leadership positions in the US Academy of Management. She is a director of Transparency International Ireland and of the Marine Institute, where she serves on the Audit Committee. Previously, she worked as a research psychologist at Harvard University Medical School, as a clinical psychologist in the Eastern Health Board, and in staff development management at RTE. She has served on the boards of IDA Ireland and of the Well Woman Group.
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. 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 has been 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.
The Press Council of Ireland: industry members
Martin Fitzpatrick is the Treasurer of the Irish Executive Council of the National Union of Journalists. He is also Chairman of the Union's Dublin Branch. He was one of two NUJ Representatives on the Press Industry Steering Committee which played a key part in the consultation process that gave rise to the Press Council. He started in journalism with the Irish Press Group and worked mainly in business journalism. He retired in 2006 from his post as Business Correspondent with the Sunday Independent, a position which he held for 26 years.
Eoin McVey is Managing Editor of The Irish Times. He first joined the newspaper in 1978. Over a lengthy career he has been Editor of Business Extra, Administration and Planning Editor, and Duty Editor in the Editor's Office of The Irish Times. A native of Dublin, he is married with three children.
Frank Mulrennan is currently Director of Operations - Publishing with Celtic Media Group. He is a former President of the Regional Newspapers and Printers Association of Ireland (RNPAI). His previous roles included Managing Director of the Drogheda Independent Group, Business Editor & Associate Editor with Irish Independent, and Editor of the Farming Independent. Frank has an M.Sc. in Management Practice (TCD). A native of Bunclody, Co Wexford, he lives in Dublin and is married with three daughters.
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.
Frank Coughlan is Deputy Managing Editor of Independent Newspapers and a former Executive Features Editor and Deputy Editor of the Irish Independent. He also spent many years in the Evening Herald where he held a variety of positions including News Analysis Editor, Associate Editor, Assistant Editor (News) and columnist. Born and raised in Cork city, he was educated at Colaiste Mhuire, Presentation College, and began his career with the Cork Examiner in 1975, before moving to the Irish Press in 1981. Frank is married with three children.
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.