IRELAND’S Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly has been elected as the next European Ombudsman and will take up her new post in October, it was announced today.
Ms O’ Reilly’s victory was welcomed by the outgoing European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros who said she would pursue the job with dynamism and vision.
Her departure opens the way for the appointment of a new Ombudsman and Information Commissioner here.,Ms O Reilly has been in the post since 2003 and was re-appointed for a new six year term in 2009.
She was famously described as “Blonde Ambition” by former Fianna Fail government press secretary PJ Mara who clashed with her during her previous career as a political correspondent.
Mr Diamandouros said "I am convinced that Emily O'Reilly will pursue with dedication, dynamism, and vision the European Ombudsman's goal of serving as a bridge between European citizens and the EU administration.
“Her experience in impressively restructuring and successfully running an ombudsman institution at the national level will undoubtedly be extremely valuable to her new institution.
“I am also sure that she will give further impetus to the European Ombudsman's close cooperation with the ombudsman community in Europe, in which she has played a prominent role over the past ten years. I congratulate her warmly and wish her the very best in leading the European Ombudsman institution forward."
A former journalist Ms O’ Reilly - who is in her mid fifties - is a native of Tullamore, Co Offaly and is married with five children. She is a graduate of University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin.
She was also the recipient of a Niemann Fellowship in Journalism at Harvard University, Cambridge, U.S.A. In December 2008 Ms O'Reilly was awarded a Doctor of Laws by the National University of Ireland in recognition of her contribution to public service and to human rights.