Fergus Finlay and patient advocates among eight on new HSE board

Law professor Prof Deirdre Madden and Tim Hynes of AIB among others to be appointed

Two patient advocates and former Barnardos chief executive Fergus Finlay are among eight people appointed to the board of the HSE by Minister for Health Simon Harris.

The appointment of patient advocates Mark Molloy and Dr Sarah McLoughlin to the board fulfils a recommendation made by Dr Gabriel Scally in his report last year on the CervicalCheck controversy.

The board, which is being appointed on an administrative basis until legislation has passed through the Oireachtas, will also include UCC law professor Prof Deirdre Madden and Tim Hynes, group chief information officer of AIB.

Ciarán Devane, chief executive of the British Council, was appointed last September to chair the board. Prof Madden will serve as deputy chairwoman.


The HSE recently re-advertised the post of chief executive, having failed to fill it in a recruitment campaign last year.

Others appointed to the board are former GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail; Fiona Ross, chairwoman of CIE and Mental Health Ireland; and Dr Yvonne Traynor, vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs with Kerry Group.

The last HSE board was abolished in 2011 under reforms introduced by the then minister for health James Reilly.


Last year, the Sláintecare report into the future of healthcare in the State said the current HSE governance structure was not fit for purpose and an independent board needed to be put in place.

Mr Harris said the appointments reflected the range of competencies sought during a process operated by the Public Appointments Service.

Under the Health Service Executive (Governance) Bill 2018, to be enacted early this year, the board will be the governing body of the HSE and will be accountable to the Minister for Health. The chief executive of the HSE will be accountable to the board.

Mr Harris said the board would help to strengthen HSE governance and contribute to enhancing oversight and performance of the organisation.

One final position on the board, of a person with skills in financial planning and management, is to be announced in the coming weeks.

Mr Molloy and his wife Roisin have campaigned for improved standard in maternity care since their son, Mark, died unnecessarily in Portlaoise hospital shortly after his birth in 2012.

Dr McLoughlin, who received a cancer diagnosis in 2016, is science and communication officer at Retina International.

Mr Devane is being paid €80,000 to chair the board, while ordinary members will receive €14,963.

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is Health Editor of The Irish Times