Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (200, 202, 203)

Shane Ross

Question:

200. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the details of all appointments made by him to all State agencies, commercial bodies and all other appointments made by him since taking office, including the State owned banks and the Judiciary. [8120/13]

View answer

Shane Ross

Question:

202. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the details of the qualifications of all the appointees made by him to all State agencies, commercial bodies and all other appointments made by him since taking office including the State owned banks and Judiciary for the appointments they have accepted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8138/13]

View answer

Shane Ross

Question:

203. Deputy Shane Ross asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of appointees and the percentage of appointments made by him to all State agencies, commercial bodies and all other appointments made by him since taking office including the State owned banks and the Judiciary that were subject to a public applications process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8156/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 200, 202 and 203 together.

There are no State agencies or commercial bodies operating under the aegis of my Department. The Fulbright Commission has a unique status in that it was established pursuant to an international agreement, is funded jointly with the US Government and is therefore not a body solely under the aegis of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Under the Educational Exchange (Ireland and the USA) Act 1991, the Commission consists of eight members. The legislation specifies that four of them should be Irish citizens appointed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and four of them should be citizens of the US and appointed by the US Ambassador. Vacancies on the board arose in December 2012, November 2012 and May 2011. These vacancies were publicised on the Department’s website and expressions of interest were invited. The process to nominate the Irish members is at an advanced stage and should be completed shortly.

Since taking office, I have made new appointments to two advisory committees, the Emigrant Services Advisory Committee and the Irish Aid Expert Advisory Group. The four people I have appointed to the Emigrant Services Advisory Committee are John Gormley, who is a Former President of the GAA in Britain; Joe Brown, who is the Chair of the Irish Travellers Movement; Frances Henderson, who is a Member of the Scottish Branch of the Irish Professional Network; and Sinéad Crowley, who is an Executive Director with the Irish International Business Network in London. These appointments were made in addition to the following serving members of the board, who are Mr. Séamus McGarry, who is a Member of the Ireland Fund of Great Britain and on the Board of Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith (appointed 2004); Cllr. Sally Mulready, who is a Councillor in the London Borough of Hackney and a member of the Irish Elderly Advice Network (appointed 2008); Tony Cusack, who is the Manager of the Irish Centre in Leicester (appointed 2008); Breege McDaid, who is the Chief Executive of Irish Community Care Merseyside (appointed 2008); Tony Corcoran of the Tyneside Irish Festival and Secretary of the Tyneside Irish Centre (appointed 2008); Des Hurley, who is the Chief Executive of the Irish Arts Foundation (appointed 2008); and Bridie Nugent, who is a Board Member of the Irish Welfare and Information Centre in Birmingham (appointed 2009).

The two people I have appointed to the Irish Aid Expert Advisory Group are Ms Nora Owen, who was appointed Chairperson in October 2011, and Dr. Naomi Ngirwa. Ms Owen holds qualifications in Chemistry and Biochemistry (University College Dublin) and Business Law (National College of Ireland). During her service in Dáil Éireann, she held various positions including Chairperson of the Parliamentary Overseas Aid Committee and Minister for Justice between 1994 and 1997. Dr. Naomi Ngirwa was appointed as a member of the Irish Aid Expert Advisory Group in October 2011. At the time of her appointment, Dr. Ngwira, who holds a doctorate in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University, was an Economist Consultant with the Institute of Policy Research and Analysis in Malawi. Dr. Ngwira resigned from the Expert Advisory Group in late 2012 to take up her role as Deputy Governor of the Malawi Central Bank. Of the nine new appointments made by me, three were publicised. The remaining new appointments which are to specialist advisory committees, were made following consultation within the relevant sectors.