Posted: July 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

in light of President Higgins accounced his convening a council of state due to passed abortion bill

Here is a rundown of said council

Ex-officio: executive Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny
Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Eamon Gilmore
Ex-officio: legislature Ceann Comhairle (Chairman of Dáil Éireann) Seán Barrett
Cathaoirleach (Chairman of Seanad Éireann) Paddy Burke
Ex-officio: judiciary Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Susan Denham
President of the High Court Nicholas Kearns
Ex-officio Attorney General Máire Whelan
Former officeholders President Mary Robinson, Mary McAleese
Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, Albert Reynolds, John Bruton, Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen
Chief Justice John L. Murray, Thomas Finlay, Ronan Keane
President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State None (  The office of President of the Executive Council was superseded in 1937 by that of Taoiseach; both former Presidents are dead. The 1996 Constitution Review Group proposed removing, as obsolete, mention of the office in relation to the Council of State)
President’s nominees (List of former nominees) Michael Farrell, Deirdre Heenan, Catherine McGuinness, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Ruairí McKiernan, Sally Mulready, Gerard Quinn

Council of State Ireland 2012

See below for a short biography of each of the  President’s nominees

Michael Farrell

Michael Farrell is the senior solicitor with Free Legal Advice Centres. He was involved in the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland and is a former co-chairperson of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.

Michael was a member of the Irish Human Rights Commission from 2001 until last year and is currently the Irish member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance. He is also a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society.

Professor Deirdre Heenan

Deirdre Heenan is Provost and Dean of Academic Development for the University of Ulster’s Magee Campus, where she a member of the Senior Management Team. She was appointed to a Lectureship in Policy Studies at the University of Ulster in 1995 and became a Professor in 2007.

Professor Heenan is a co-founder and former co-director of the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey which has become a key statistical resource for schools, academics and policy makers. Her particular areas of expertise are devolution, education and social care.

In 2008-9 Deirdre spent nine-months working as a policy adviser in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister. Last year she was appointed by Health Minister, Edwin Poots, to join the five strong panel of advisers to assist with the Review of Health and Social Care Services in Northern Ireland.

Judge Catherine McGuinness

Judge Catherine McGuinness was called to the Bar in 1977 and to the Inner Bar in 1989. She was a member of Seanad Éireann from 1979-82 and was a previous member of the Council of State from 1988-90.

She served as a Judge of the Circuit Court from 1994-1996, of the High Court from 1996-2000 and of the Supreme Court from 2000-2006. From 2005-2011, she was President of the Law Reform Commission. She is currently the Adjunct Professor of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh

Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh is Professor Emeritus in History and former Dean of Arts and Vice-President of the National University of Ireland, Galway. A former member of the Senate of the NUI and of the Irish-US Fulbright Commission, and a former Cathaoirleach of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Professor Ó Tuathaigh has published widely – in Irish and English – on many aspects of modern Irish history.

Ruairí McKiernan

Ruairí McKiernan is a community activist and social entrepreneur. He is the founder of the national youth organisation He is also a founder and organiser of the Possibilities 2011 Social Summit. Ruairí is a business graduate and is a recipient of numerous awards including a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award, a Net Visionary Award, and a Junior Chambers International Award. After 8 years as CEO of, he recently stepped down to develop new social innovations.

Sally Mulready

Sally Mulready has made a huge contribution to the Irish emigrant community in Britain over many decades. She was born in Dublin and moved to Hackney, London with her mother in the 1970s.

Sally is a local Labour councillor in the London Borough of Hackney since 1997. In her former capacity as the Secretary of the Federation of Irish Societies, Sally was involved in securing the Irish Government’s agreement for the creation and funding of five Survivor Outreach Services in Britain. She is also a founder member of the Irish Women’s Survivors Network and Director of the Irish Elderly Advice Network.

Sally was prominently involved in the campaign to free the Birmingham Six and is currently active in the Magadelene Laundries issue.

Professor Gerard Quinn

Professor Gerard Quinn is the Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the NUI Galway School of Law. The Centre is part of a new Lifecourse Policy Research Institute at the University which researches policy innovation covering age, child and family as well as disability. He is a graduate of UCG (BA, LL.B.), was called to the Irish Bar in 1983 and holds a masters (LL.M.) and doctorate in law (S.J.D.) from Harvard Law School. His specialization is international and comparative disability law and policy.

Professor Quinn led the delegation of Rehabilitation International (RI) at the UN Working Group that elaborated the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He has worked in the European Commission and held a number of posts such as Director of Research at the Law Reform Commission and First Vice President of the European Committee of Social Rights (Council of Europe). He is a former member of the Irish Human Rights Commission.

He voluntarily participates on a number of international boards dealing with disability law and policy issues.

Out of  all of his  nomineees Michael Farrell,Judge Catherine McGuinness, and Professor Gerard Quinn will be of  use to him.Professor Emeritus Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh will probably be able to provide a historical prospective.Current members  Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Susan Denham Attorney General Máire Whelan Chief Justices  John L. Murray, Thomas Finlay, Ronan Keane as well as Nicholas Kearns ,President of the High Court of Ireland and Mary Robinson and  Mary McAleese, who were both solicitors before they entered Áras an Uachtaráin will be of to Micheal D


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