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Additional Appointments Made To Parole Board

  • Two additional Board members bringing total membership to 15 including Chairperson.

The Minister for Justice Mrs Helen McEntee has today announced the expansion of the Parole Board from 13 to 15 members and has appointed Dr. Lisa Cuthbert and Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan to the Board.

The Parole Board, established under the Parole Act 2019 on July 31st, 2021, is an independent statutory body responsible for considering the eligibility for parole of people serving life sentences, once they have served at least 12 years of their sentence.

The Parole Board, in accordance with Section 10 of the Parole Act 2019, is composed of no fewer than 12 and no more than 15 members, including the Parole Board Chairperson. The Minister has now approved the expansion of the membership of the Board from an original 13, bringing the membership up to 15 including the Chairperson. The appointment of the two additional Board members was made following a Public Appointments Service (State Boards) selection process.

In addition to these new appointments, the Minister is also reappointing the representatives of An Garda Síochána, the Bar Council, the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland and the Law Society, each of whom has been re-nominated by their representative body.

The Minister also recently reappointed Ms Ann Reade and Mr Kieran Kenny for another 4 year term.

Minister McEntee said: “I am pleased to announce this expansion of the Parole Board. The two additional members will help support the Board and ensure it has the capacity to undertake its important work in a more efficient and effective manner.
The work of the Parole Board is essential to ensuring fair decisions are made on the continued imprisonment of people who have been convicted of the most serious of crimes, while also ensuring that victims’ voices are heard.
I want to wish the members of the Board, new and old, well as they undertake this important work.”

Under the Parole Act, the majority of members of the Parole Board are nominated by specified nominating bodies and specified post-holders as set out in Section 10, and appointed by the Minister for Justice in accordance with the relevant legislative provisions.

Ensuring gender balance among the membership is an important element of the process and is built into the legislation in a clear and constructive manner.

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