Friday 20 April 2018

Who'll be the next Ombudsman?

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

SPECULATION is mounting as to who will replace Emily O'Reilly as Ombudsman.

There has been just three people in the position since it was created in 1984.

Two of them, Ms O'Reilly and the first office holder, the late Michael Mills, had previously been former political journalists.

The man who held the post between 1994 and 2003, Kevin Murphy, who died last year, was a senior civil servant in the Department of Finance.

Ms O'Reilly's departure has been rumoured within the civil service for at least the last nine months.

Given the adversarial relationship that sometimes developed between Ms O'Reilly and the various governments during her tenure, it's thought unlikely that another political correspondent will be chosen.

The Government has the power to nominate an individual to the role – which has to be seen to be above politics – subject to approval by Dail and Seanad vote and ultimately the President's signature.

Early speculation has focused on the possibility of another civil servant being appointed, an academic or possibly a member of the legal profession, such as a retired judge, assuming the role.

Irish Independent

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