A WOMAN has been appointed as chief executive of the National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) for the first time.
Teresa Devlin will take up her position with the independent watchdog on February 1, succeeding Ian Elliot as chief executive officer.
A spokesman for the NBSCCCI told the Irish Independent that Ms Devlin would reveal her plans for the future of the organisation then.
The NBSCCCI has been tasked with reviewing and advising church bodies on how to deliver a one-church policy on safeguarding practices.
Ms Devlin has been acting as interim chief executive since Ian Elliot retired last June.
The child safety expert oversaw the publication of the fourth tranche of safeguarding reviews last December, which looked at child safeguarding practices in six dioceses and two religious orders.
Ms Devlin has a background in social science, psychology and child protection, served for four years as head of research policy and service review at the office of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY).
The NBSCCCI was established in 2006. Responding to the announcement, its chairman John Morgan, said that Ms Devlin "brings a unique combination of experience, compassion and insight to the role and we are delighted to have her leading the team."