Ceisteanna – Questions. - Departmental Appointments.

Michael Noonan


8 Mr. Noonan asked the Taoiseach the appointments made by him since June 1997 to bodies or organisations which come under the aegis of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6724/01]

The list of bodies and organisations under the aegis of my Department, the manner and process through which appointments are made to these bodies and organisations and the full list of membership is contained in a tabular statement which will be circulated in the Official Report.

Current list of bodies under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach:

–The National Economic and Social Council (NESC);

–The National Economic and Social Forum (NESF);

–The National Statistics Board;

–The National Centre for Partnership;

–The Information Society Commission;

–The Law Reform Commission;

–The National Millennium Committee;

–MediaLab Europe; and

–Digital Media District Ltd.

The manner and process through which appointments are made to these bodies differ according to their composition. In the case of the National Economic and Social Council – NESC – and the National Economic and Social Forum – NESF – nominations are made by the nominating bodies of the four social partner pillars and Government Departments. The appointments are made by Government.

1. National Economic and Social Council – NESC:

The total membership of the National Economic and Social Council is 31. The nominations are as follows:

–nine individuals are nominated by the Government;

–five individuals are nominated by business and employers organisations;

–five individuals are nominated by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions;

–five individuals are nominated by agricultural and farming organisations;

–five individuals are nominated by community and voluntary organisations;

–the chairperson is Mr. Dermot McCarthy, Secretary General to the Government;

–the deputy chairperson's position is currently vacant.

Members of the National Economic and Social Council – NESC:


–Mr. Dermot McCarthy – Department of the Taoiseach.

Trade unions nominees – five members:

–Mr. Peter Cassells, ICTU;

–Mr. Peter McLoone, IMPACT;

–Mr. Manus O'Riordan, SIPTU;

Two vacancies.

Employer and business organisation nominees – five members:

–Mr. Turlough O'Sullivan, IBEC; *

–Mr. Brian Geoghegan, IBEC; *

–Mr. Liam Kelleher, CIF;

–Mr. Brendan Butler, SFA;

–Mr. Simon Nugent, CCI.

*Mr. Turlough O'Sullivan and Mr. Brian Geoghegan replaced Mr. John Dunne and Mr. Tom Toner respectively.

Farming organisation nominees – five members:

–Mr. Seamus O'Donohue, ICOS, replaced Mr. Greg Tierney in May 2000;

–Ms Maria Moynihan, Macra na Feirme – resigned July 2000;

–Mr. Con Lucey, IFA;

–Mr. Michael Berkery, IFA;

–Mr. Ciaran Dolan, ICMSA.

Community and voluntary nominees – five members:

–Fr. Sean Healy, CORI;

–Ms Siobhán O'Donohue, Community Workers Co-operative;

–Ms Orla O'Connor, National Women's Council of Ireland;

–Mr. Dan Boyle, INOU, replaced Mr. Mike Allen in May 2000.

Government Departments:

–Mr. John Hurley, Department of Finance;

–Mr. Paul Haran, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment;

–Mr. Edmund Sullivan, Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs;

–Mr. Brendan Tuohy, Department of Public Enterprise;

–Mr. John Fitzgerald, Dublin City Manager, representing the local government system.

Independents – five members:

–Professor Jim Walsh, department of geography, NUI, Maynooth;

–Professor John FitzGerald, ESRI;

–Ms Angela Kennedy; *

–Ms Geraldine McAteer, Northern Ireland interests;

One position vacant.

*Ms Angela Kennedy is the Tánaiste's nominee and she replaced Irene Bergin, ISME, who resigned September 2000.

2.National Economic and Social Forum – NESF:

The total membership of the National Economic and Social Forum is 62. The nominations are as follows:

–the 15 Oireachtas Members are by agreement with the party Whips;

–the 30 social partner representatives are nominated by the organisations who are party to social partnership agreements;

–five departmental representatives are from key Departments central to the forum's work;

–the five local authorities' representatives are nominated by the General Council of County Councils, Association of Municipal Authorities and the County and City Managers Association;

–five independent members are appointed by the Government;

–the independent chair is nominated by the Government, while the deputy chair is a full-time official in the Taoiseach's Department.

Members of the National Economic and Social Forum – NESF:

Independent chairperson: Ms Maureen Gaffney.

Deputy chairperson: Mr. Dermot McCarthy.


Fianna Fáil:

Deputy Noel Ahern,

Deputy Seán Haughey,

Deputy Beverley Cooper-Flynn,

Deputy Michael Kitt,

Senator Margaret Cox

Senator Paschal Mooney

Fine Gael:

Deputy Gerry Reynolds,

Deputy Paul McGrath,

Deputy Billy Timmins,

Senator Mary Jackman

Senator Therese Ridge


Deputy Derek McDowell,

Senator Joe Costello

Progressive Democrats:

Senator Jim Gibbons


Deputy Michael Lowry,

(ii) Employer, trade union and farm organisations:

(a) Employer/business organisations:


Mr. Brendan Butler;

Ms Aileen O'Donoghue.

Small Firms Association

Ms Lilian O'Carroll.

Construction Industry Federation

Ms Mirette Corboy.

Chambers of commerce/tourist industry/experts association

Ms Carmel Mulroy

(b) Trade unions:

Mr. Eamonn Devoy;

Mr. Blair Horan;

Mr. Jerry Shanahan;

Mr. Manus O'Riordan;

Ms Joan Carmichael.

(c)Agriculture/farming organisations:


Mr. John Dillon;


Mr. Pat O'Rourke;



Macra na Feirme

Ms Eileen Doyle;


Ms Eva Coyle.

(iii)Community and voluntary sector:

Womens' organisations

Ms Ursula Barry;

Ms Gráinne Healy;

Ms Susan Mc Naughton.


Ms Camilla Loftus;

Ms Joan Condon;

Ms Mary Murphy.


Mr. Joe Gallagher;

Mr. Chris McInerney;

Ms Janice Ransom.


Gearóid O Maoilmhíchíl Uasal.

Older People

Mr. Paddy Donegan.


Mr. John Dolan.


Ms Jan Meldon.


Fr. Seán Healy;

Ms Mary Murphy.

(iv)Central Government, local government and independents:

(a)Central Government:

Secretary General, Department of Finance;

Secretary General, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment;

Secretary General, Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs;

Secretary General, Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation;

Secretary General, Department of the Environment and Local Government.

(b)Local government:

General Council of County Councils:

Councillor Constance Hannafin;

Councillor Tom Kelleher;

Councillor Enda Nolan.

Association of Municipal Authorities:

Councillor Tadhg Curtis.

County and City Managers Association:

Mr. Donal O'Donoghue.


Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, National University of Ireland, Galway;

Ms Marian Vickers, Northside Partnership;

Ms Helen Johnson, Surg Equipment Ltd.

Mr. Niall Fitzduff, Rural Communities Network;

Ms Noreen Kearney, Trinity College, Dublin.

3.The National Statistics Board:

In 1997, the Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, Deputy Seamus Brennan, appointed eight members to the National Statistics Board. Regarding the current board, six members were appointed in early 2000. Of these, four had served on the previous board. The eighth member was appointed in September 2000.

Members of the National Statistics Board:

Mr. Cathal O'Loghlin, Department of Finance;

Ms Paula Carey, ICTU;

Mr. Ciaran Dolan, ICMSA;

Mr. Frank Cunneen, IBEC;

Ms Mary Doyle, Department of the Taoiseach;f7>1

Professor Frances Ruane, Trinity College – chairperson;

Mr. Donal Garvey, CSO;f7>2

Ms Maria Harkin – appointed September 2000.

f7>1In January 2001, Ms Doyle replaced Mr. Dermot McCarthy who resigned.

f7>2On becoming director general of the CSO in December 2000, Mr. Garvey becomes a member of the National Statistics Board replacing Mr. Donal Murphy who retired as director general of the CSO.

4.The National Centre for Partnership:

The board members of the National Centre for Partnership were appointed by the previous Government.

Members of the National Centre for Partnership

Ms Evelyn Owens chair;

Mr. Peter Cassells ICTU;

Ms Mary Doyle Department of the Taoiseach;

Mr. John Dunne IBEC;

Mr. Paul Haran Department of Enterprise, Trade and


Mr. John Hurley Department of Finance.

The NCP has been subsumed by the National Centre for Partnership and Performance – NCPP. The NCPP was set up under the terms of the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness. Mr. Peter Cassells has been appointed to the post of executive chairperson of the new body and is due to take up the post in July. Interviews for the post of the director of the NCPP were undertaken by the Office of the Civil Service and Local Appointments Commissioners on 12 March last and it is expected that an appointment will be made shortly.

5. The Information Society Commission:

The first Information Society Commission was appointed for a three year term of office in 1997 which has now expired. Members of the Information Society Commission were appointed by the previous Government.

Members of the Information Society Commission:

Ms Vivienne Jupp–chair Andersen Consulting;

Mr. Séamus Cannáin Blackrock Education Centre;

Ms Selina Bonnie Communications consultant;

Mr. Sean Corkery Esat Telecom;

Mr. Eugene Murray RTE;

Ms Paula Carey ICTU

Dr. Eamonn G. Hall Eircom

Mr. Dermot McCarthy Department of the Taoiseach

Mr. Donal Connell 3Com

Mr. Paul Kavanagh

The Taoiseach intends to bring proposals to Government on the establishment of a new Information Society Commission.

6. Law Reform Commission:

There have been three appointments by the Government to the Law Reform Commission since June 1997 – two presidents and a part-time commissioner.

Members of the Law Reform Commission:

Mr. Justice Vivian Lavan – appointed president on 27 July 1998

– resigned 22 February 2000.

Mr. Finbarr McAuley – appointed on 1 September 1999 for a

period of five years.

Mr. Justice Budd – appointed president on 22 February 2000

for a period of five years.

7. The National Millennium Committee

A total of 15 nominations to the National Millennium Committee were made by the Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, Deputy Séamus Brennan, in November 1998.

Membership of the National Millennium Committee:

Deputy Séamus BrennanGovernment Chief Whip and Mini-

ster of State – chair;

Mr. Richard Hollandf7>1 Principal Officer, Department of the


Mr. Paddy Duffyf7>2 Special adviser to the Taoiseach;

Mr. Peter Barry Former Minister;

Mr. Lochlann Quinn Chairman, AIB Group;

Mr. Howard Kilroy Governor, Bank of Ireland Group;

Ms Eithne Healy Chairman, Dublin Theatre Festival;

Ms Deirdre Purcell Journalist/author;

Ms Patricia O'Donovan Deputy general secretary, ICTU;

Ms Monica Mc Williamsf7>3 Northern Ireland Womens' Coalition;

Mr. Derek Keogh Chairman, Millennium Festivals Limited;

Mr. Brian Murphy Chairman, Office of Public Works;

Mr. Paul McGuinness Manager, U2;

Mr. Ronan Keating Boyzone;

Mr. Joe Barry Former director general, RTE.

f7>1Mr. Richard Holland replaced Mr. Eoin O'Leary, Principal officer Department of the Taoiseach, in May 1999.

f7>2Mr. Paddy Duffy stepped down from the committee in June 1999.

f7>3Ms Monica McWilliams resigned in February 2000 due to pressure of other work.

8. MediaLab Europe

An interim board for MediaLab Europe was appointed in June 2000.

Appointed by Government:

Denis O'Brien, businessman;

Danny O'Hare, formerly of DCU;

Paddy Teahon, executive chairperson of DMD


Appointed by the Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology – MIT:

Nicholas Negroponte, chairman;

Larry Bacow, chancellor of MIT;

Bob Greene, consultant to MITML.

The full board of MediaLab Europe took up office in October 2000 and has the following membership:

Appointed by Government:

Denis O'Brien, businessman;

Danny O'Hare, former president, DCU;

Ann Riordan, formerly of Microsoft.

Appointed by the Government and MIT:

Red Burns, Multimedia Centre, New York


Gerhard Schulmeyer, chief executive officer Siemens;

Bono, U2.

Appointed by MIT:

Nicholas Negroponte, chairman;

Larry Bacow, chancellor of MIT;

Bob Metcalfe, founder of 3Com.

In addition, Rudolph Burger has recently joined the board following his appointment as chief executive officer of MediaLabEurope.

9.Digital Media District Ltd. (DMD Ltd.)

Eight appointments were made by the Government in April 2000 to the board of DMD Ltd.:

Paddy Teahon, chairman;

Dan Flinter, Enterprise Ireland;

Don Thornhill, Higher Education Authority;

John Fitzgerald, Dublin City manager;

Paul Kavanagh, Information Society Commission;

Paul McGuinness, Principle Management, U2;

Peter Cassells, ICTU;

Jackie Harrison, IBEC.

What is the position on gender balance?

I hope it is good, but my main difficulty is that most of the boards, councils and fora are picked by others. My ability to do anything other than make pleas in that regard is not strong. However, I plead.

That is a shame.

One can only write to IBEC, ICTU and others and I have done so.

The Taoiseach refused to accept their nominations.

Supplementary questions on tabular statements are not usual.

Will the Taoiseach speak to the Minister for Education and Science and tell him there are a number of highly qualified women who could serve on boards, including those relating to pensions? The Minister thinks those matters do not concern women.

High finance.

They are specialist skills, according to the Minister, Deputy Woods.

Regarding the Taoiseach's reply to the question about gender balance, does he accept his response is most disturbing? He can ensure gender balance by giving a directive to the various constituent bodies to ensure they comply with the requirement or provide the names of one male and one female.

The Deputy should not make a statement.

It is an important matter. The Taoiseach made a statement in the House which most women in the country—

That does not entitle the Deputy to make a statement. She must put a question.

I wish to finish my point.

The Deputy must ask a question.

I will ask a question if the Ceann Comhairle allows me to do so.

Question Time is not a time for making points but for asking questions.

Does the Taoiseach understand the reply he has given is offensive to the majority of women who campaigned and fought for equality and that his statement disregards a genuine need to correct the balance? Perhaps the Tánaiste would like to answer the question.

Obviously the Deputy is not well informed on these issues because, under the equality Acts, I am not allowed to direct. One can ask but one is not allowed to direct. We always ask. In particular, I always ask, therefore, the basis of the question is incorrect. Most of the social partners are helpful but the issue is not that easy to deal with.

What about the Minister for Finance?


There is already a precedent in the legislation on the RTE authority which has a minimum and maximum number of women and men on the board. Surely that precedent could apply in this instance.

Where I have influence, my record on gender balance in the formation of Government and the appointment of Ministers of State will stand up to any scrutiny. One can request boards in this matter but one cannot direct them. The approach works reasonably satisfactorily.

That is not so.