Children’s Ombudsman Emily Logan has been widely welcomed as the new head of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
The IHEC combines two state agencies, the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority.
This followed years of successive and deep cutbacks in the funding to both bodies.
At the launch of their annual reports last November, both agencies detailed the impact the cuts had on their work.
Speaking at the launch, former justice minister Alan Shatter, said he was “personally disappointed” at the delay in establishing the new agency, which he had announced in 2011.
The appointment of a high-profile figure in Ms Logan has been taken as a positive sign by voluntary bodies and observers.
The director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties Mark Kelly “enthusiastically welcomed” her appointment.
“Emily Logan is an outstanding choice as the first Chief Commissioner of the new Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission,” he said. “As Ombudsman for Children, she has been a fearless defender of the rights of vulnerable young people and her independence and vision will be huge assets to Ireland’s new statutory human rights institution.
“The ICCL welcomes the fact the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission now has a full complement of commissioners appointed through an independent merit-based process.”
Tanya Ward of Children’s Rights Alliance said: “Emily Logan has done an outstanding job as Ireland’s first Ombudsman for Children and we commend her on her many achievements. She established the Office under the Ombudsman for Children Act 2002 and developed it into the highly-respected body.”
Making the announcement, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said Ms Logan brought “a wealth of experience” to the job.
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