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Question

256. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason for the refusal to reappoint a person (details supplied) to the IHREC board despite meeting all requirements as set out in the criteria. [6925/18]

257. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason for the emphasis and prioritisation of corporate governance and managerial expertise over experience in the field of human rights and equality when appointing to the board of IHREC. [6926/18]

258. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the selection process as a result of prioritising corporate governance; his further views on whether the strongest advocates from a human rights perspective have been excluded as a result; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6927/18]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 256 to 258, inclusive, together.
As the Deputy will appreciate, selection processes for appointments to State Boards are undertaken by the Public Appointments Service and I, as Minister, have no role in the matter. The Deputy will be aware that the State Boards process is designed to enable any person to apply to a position on a State Board. The Guidelines for Appointments to State Boards, which have been operational for over three years now, can be found at www.stateboards.ie.
I am advised that the Public Appointments Service undertook a selection process for appointments to the seven vacancies arising in the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission in line with its Guidelines and on an independent basis so to conform to best practice for appointments to a National Human Rights Institution. A large number of applications were received from highly qualified persons for the Commissioner positions, reflecting the high level of interest that exists in the Commission. This resulted in a highly competitive selection process as there were many more qualified candidates than available positions on the Commission.
It is important that the Commission has a full complement of Commissioners so that it can get on with its important work.