Higgins to appoint aid specialist as head of communications

Dóchas director Hans Zomer’s appointment comes after departure of two advisers

Hans Zomer (47) has been director of Dóchas, an umbrella group for Ireland’s development agencies, for the past 13 years. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Hans Zomer (47) has been director of Dóchas, an umbrella group for Ireland’s development agencies, for the past 13 years. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

President Michael D Higgins is to appoint international aid specialist Hans Zomer as his head of communications.

Mr Zomer (47) has been director of Dóchas, an umbrella group for Ireland’s development agencies, for the past 13 years. A political scientist by training, he previously worked for Concern in Dublin and for human rights organisations in Chad and Pakistan.

The appointment, expected to be finalised later this month, follows the departures of Mr Higgins’s two communications advisers, Wally Young and Sarah Martin.

Mr Zomer will join a small team around Mr Higgins that includes special adviser Liam Herrick, formerly of the Irish Penal Reform Trust and the Human Rights Commission; speech-writer Aziliz Gouez, a French academic; and executive assistant Kevin McCarthy.

In a statement, the Áras said the recruitment process for the head of communications and information post was not yet complete. “We expect the process will be completed shortly and we will then be issuing a statement,” it added.