177 apply for eight positions as human rights commissioners
There have been 177 applications for the eight part-time positions as human rights commissioners, advertised at the beginning of September.
According to the Act, the commission must be broadly representative of Irish society and at least four of its nine members must be women. Those appointed to it must satisfy the selection panel they have expertise, qualifications, experience or training in the functions of the Act.
Applications are being assessed by a selection panel which consists of ICTU president Ms Inez McCormack, Ms Mary Murphy of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Mr Martin O'Brien of the Committee for the Administration on Justice in Northern Ireland, and Civil Service Commissioner Mr Frank Murphy. It is chaired by Dr T.K. Whitaker. While they will be drawing up a list of suitably qualified applicants, it will be the Government that makes the appointments. These do not have to be drawn from the list, but it is likely they will be.
Aspiring commissioners, who will be expected to devote at least five days a month to the commission, have no idea what they will be paid. No remuneration has been specified, and it is understood this is still under discussion between the Departments of Justice and Finance.