Minister Zappone welcomes the appointment of Dr. Conor O’Mahony

Minister Zappone welcomes the appointment of Dr. Conor O’Mahony

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone, today announced the appointment by the Government of Dr. Conor O’Mahony as Special Rapporteur on Child Protection for a three-year term.

The Minister welcomed Dr. O’Mahony to the post saying: “Conor has a distinguished career in the area of Child Law, Children’s Rights and Constitutional Law and I look forward to working with him during his term.”

The appointment follows an open competition run by Public Appointments Service (PAS). The Minister said: “The new selection process that I put in place ensures a transparent and open procedure for the selection and appointment of the Special Rapporteur.”

Dr O’Mahony is Director of the Child Care Law Clinic at UCC, where he has supported litigation concerning children and advocated for law reform in the area of child law.  He has published widely on his areas of expertise and contributes regularly to analysis in the national media.  He holds a PhD from the University of Wales, Aberstwyth and has lectured in UCC since 2005. He has been invited to address sessions of the Constitutional Convention, the Citizens’ Assembly and a number of Joint Oireachtas Committees.

Minister Zappone also praised the work of the outgoing Special Rapporteur, Dr. Geoffrey Shannon. The Minister said: “I would like to sincerely thank Dr. Shannon for his dedication and commitment to the work in this area. He has delivered a comprehensive annual report to Government in each of the years 2007 to 2018.  The child welfare and protection matters raised in his reports are relevant to a broad span of Departments and statutory agencies.  I consider that his reports have provided important input into the development and review of child protection policy and legislation and have provided an objective and independent expert view of the child protection system in Ireland.”