Dr Geoffrey Shannon – Chairman

Dr Geoffrey Shannon is the current Special Rapporteur on Child Protection. He is the recipient of several awards for his work in the area of children's rights on national and international family law. These include the 2005 JCI Outstanding Person of the Year Award, the 2006 Canon Maurice Handy Award and the 2013 Irish Law Award. Dr Shannon has written or co-written 29 books including the first major Irish book on the law relating to children: Child Law.

Dr Shannon’s expertise in the adoption area has been acknowledged at an international level. In March 2013, for example, he was selected from a panel of international experts on adoption law to represent the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) before the Committee on Legal Affairs of the European Union.

Orlaith Traynor – Deputy Chairperson

Orlaith is a practicing Solicitor with a particular expertise in family law. Ms Traynor has vast experience in the area of adoption having previously served as Deputy Chairperson on An Bord Uchtála for many years.

Patrick McMahon

Patrick is a retired District Court Judge, who studied in Dublin, Leyden and Amsterdam. Before being appointed a Judge he served as a practicing Solicitor for over 30 years. He was a previous member of An Bord Uchtála and was Chairperson of an adoption society. In 2014 he was appointed the Garda Confidential Recipient and is a serving member of the Board of My Legacy.ie. Patrick was also an Arbitrator for many years and Chairman of Dunlaoghaire Harbour Company.

Anne O’Flaherty

Anne has worked for over thirty years as a psychologist and psychotherapist. She has worked with children and teenagers, and also with parents, families and carers in a variety of educational and mental health services. Ms O’ Flaherty has an interest and commitment to interagency work, in order to promote an increased understanding of young people’s psychological needs.

Paul Harrison

Paul is a registered social worker with over 35 years’ experience in children’s services.  He has held a number of practitioner and management positions in the areas such as child welfare and protection, alternative care, mental health, homelessness, addiction and adoption. Recently retired from the Child and Family Agency where Mr Harrison served on the national management team as Director of Policy and Strategy and held overall responsibility for the Agency’s National Adoption Service.

Dr Helen Buckley

Helen is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin, where she lectures in child protection practice and policy to undergraduate and postgraduate students. She has led a number of commissioned research projects on child protection, from which she has published papers and peer reviewed articles. Most recently, she co-authored a chapter entitled 'Child Welfare and Protection in Ireland: Déjà Vu all over again?' in Social Work in Ireland, published by Palgrave in 2015. She is the chair of the National Review Panel that investigates deaths of children known to child protection services.

Dr. Imelda Ryan

Imelda is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. She established and previously worked as Director of St. Louise's Child Sexual Abuse Assessment and Treatment Unit in Crumlin Children's Hospital. Dr Ryan has been a member of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, the National Review Panel. Her particular area of expertise is the long term psychological effects on children who have experienced early childhood trauma.

 

Research Sub-Committee

Dr Helen Buckley, Chair, Anne O'Flaherty, Psychologist, Prof. Gordon Harold, University of Sussex, Celia Loftus, Principal Social Worker and Ronan Keegan, Social Worker.

Management Team

Chief Executive Officer - Patricia Carey

Patricia Carey took up her role as CEO of the Adoption Authority in August 2014. Patricia was previously Director of Services in St Vincent de Paul working on major capital and development projects within SVP for 13 years. Prior to her role in SVP, Patricia worked in the community and voluntary sector and in the Department of Education and Skills. Patricia is passionate about building positive relationships with all service users and collaborative development of services. Patricia was educated in NUI Maynooth and also holds postgraduate diplomas from UCD and the Irish Management Institute.

Registrar - Kiernan Gildea

Kiernan Gildea took up the role of Registrar to the former Adoption Board in 2002. He previously worked with the Department of Health & Children on Adult Victims of Past Abuse and the preliminary Inquiry into Clerical Sexual Abuse in the Diocese of Ferns. Since joining the Board (now Authority), Kiernan has overseen the transition from working under the Adoption Act 1952-1998 to the Adoption Act 2010, which brought about Ireland ratification of the 1993 Hague Convention on protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

As Director of Operations and Corporate Services at the Authority, he has overall responsibility for the workings of the Authority’s four Units – Domestic, Intercountry, Information & Tracing and Corporate Services. Kiernan is a career Civil/Public servant with over forty years’ service. Prior to working in the Department of Health & Children he spent many years in the Department of Social Welfare and the Department of Posts & Telegraphs.

Head of Compliance & Resources - Fíona Farrell

Fíona Farrell is the Authority's Head of Compliance and Resources. Prior to taking up the position, Fíona worked in the Authority since 2012 as manager of the Domestic Adoption Unit, the Information and Tracing Unit and, until recently, the Corporate Services & Accreditation Unit.

Fíona holds qualifications in Family Law,Communications, Human Resources and Management. Fíona has over 20 years civil and public service.  Prior to joining the Authority she worked in the Courts Service, the Public Appointments Service and the Department of Social Protection.

As Head of Compliance & Resources at the Authority she has lead responsibility for all operational aspects of the organisation, including day-to-day management affairs, operational budget, staff issues, ICT needs, client relations, database management and corporate governance.

Principal Social Worker - Celia Loftus

Celia Loftus is Principal Social Worker at the Adoption Authority of Ireland, with responsibilities for regulation of social work practice in adoption nationally. She leads and supervises the social work team of five practitioners at the AAI.

Celia is a registered social worker. She has published articles in professional journals in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK. She led the compilation and implementation of the Domestic Adoption Guidelines for Practitioners in 2014. She designs and leads four training Forums annually for professionals working in adoption nationally, and co-ordinates research projects for the AAI.

She has worked as a social worker for over 30 years in the areas of probation, addiction and adoption. Her social work qualifications include BSS, CQSW and MSW through research.

Organisation Structure

Published: Friday, 08 January 2016 11:48
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2017 12:03