The Authority

The Authority members are appointed by the Government following selection processes run by the Public Appointments Service.

The legislation which established the Authority provides for the Authority to have a total of nine members – a Chairperson and eight ordinary members. The composition of the Authority is in line with the statutory objective of there being at least 4 men and at least 4 women on the Authority.

The Act requires that Authority members should have appropriate experience, qualifications, training or expertise and knowledge in areas connected with:

  • Policing matters
  • Human rights and equality matters
  • Public sector administration
  • Board management and corporate governance
  • Work undertaken by voluntary groups with local communities, in particular work to promote safety in the community, prevent crime or promote awareness of other issues that are relevant to policing services.

Members of either House of the Oireachtas, MEPs, members of Local Authorities, serving members or staff of the Garda Síochána, and members of GSOC or the Garda Inspectorate are not eligible to be members of the Authority.

The Authority is supported by the Executive which consists of a core team of staff headed up by Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Helen Hall.

Authority Members

Bob Collins

Bob Collins

Bob Collins was appointed to the Authority on 1 January 2016 and was appointed as Chairperson from 1 January 2020. He is a member of the board of the National Library of Ireland. He is a former Director-General of RTÉ, served as Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland from 2005 to 2012 and was Chair of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He was the first Chair of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and has also served on a number of other boards including the National Concert Hall and the Ulster Orchestra.

Shalom Binchy

Shalom Binchy qualified as a Solicitor in 1996 and has over 25 years’ experience representing clients in complex cases in Criminal and Mental Health Law. She has represented clients in several ground-breaking cases paving the way for constitutional and legislative reform and increased protection to clients.  Shalom is a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of Ireland and engages with the Government and other bodies to advocate for reform in the criminal justice system. She is a former Chair of the Society's Criminal Law Committee. Shalom was also involved in developing and delivering the DCU/Law Society of Ireland Supralat training programme to lawyers in Ireland and Scotland which focused on the Rights of Persons in Custody. She has spoken at conferences on the protection of rights within the criminal justice and mental health legal system. Shalom founded Shalom Binchy and Co. Solicitors in 2002 and in February 2021 joined Sheehan and Partners as a Partner with the merger of both firms.

Dr Donal de Buitleir

Dr Donal de Buitleir is Chairman of the Low Pay Commission and the Professional Standards Board of Chartered Accountants Ireland. He spent the early part of his career in the civil service ending up as Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Revenue Commissioners. He worked for 20 years in the private sector (AIB Group). Since leaving the civil service he has chaired or been a member of Government Review bodies in the areas of local government, health, education and taxation and welfare policy. He was a Board member of the Health Services Executive 2005-09. He is an Eisenhower Fellow.

Elaine Byrne

Dr Elaine Byrne is a practising barrister on the South Eastern and Dublin Circuits with a specialisation in Regulatory Law and Employment Law.

She has acted as a consultant on governance matters for the European Commission, the United Nations and the World Bank. Her book, “Political Corruption in Ireland 1922-2010: A Crooked Harp,” was published in 2012. She has served as a member of the Hamilton Review Group on Economic Crime and Corruption, and the Seanad Working Group on Reform. 

Deborah Donnelly

Deborah Donnelly

Deborah Donnelly has had a long career in the public service in Northern Ireland working mainly in the areas of policing and criminal justice. Since 2012 she has worked independently specialising in governance and equality matters. She has worked with DFAT and internationally on issues relating to Women, Peace and Security.  She is a Commissioner with the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, she chairs Ark Housing Association and holds a number of voluntary roles.

Valerie Judge

Valerie Judge

Valerie Judge is an independent management consultant, specialising in supporting senior executives to improve personal and organisational performance.  She previously worked in a number of senior HR and general management roles in the health and telecommunications sectors and as CEO of a multifunctional shared services centre. Her qualifications include MBA, BSocSc, and Diplomas in ICT, Health Economics, Governance and Executive Coaching. Valerie has been a member and chair of a number of state and charity boards.

Paul Mageean

Paul Mageean

Paul Mageean is a qualified solicitor from Belfast.  He spent some time in private practice and also spent almost ten years working as the Legal Officer with the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ), the leading human rights organisation in Northern Ireland.  More recently, he worked for Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland and was also the Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queens University Belfast.  He is a member of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and serves as a Parole Commissioner in Northern Ireland and as a member of the Parole Board in the Republic of Ireland.  He also chairs the Public Interest Litigation Support (PILS) Project which seeks to support strategic litigation in the human rights and equality field.

Stephen Martin

Stephen Martin was a police officer in Northern Ireland for nearly 34 years. As a senior leader he gained broad experience across a range of commands, variously responsible for: all local policing and major events; serious and organised crime investigation; public protection; corporate governance; professional standards; organisational change and performance. He retired as the Deputy Chief Constable in January 2020. He is currently the non-executive chair of the Irish Football Association and sits on the Prince’s Trust Northern Ireland Advisory Committee. He is a Chartered Director, a fellow of both the Institute of Directors and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and he holds an MBA with Ulster University.

Dr Moling Ryan

Dr Moling Ryan

Dr. Moling Ryan served as Chief Executive of the Legal Aid Board from 2004 to 2014. He previously served in a number of offices and Departments including Finance, Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Land Registry and the Courts Service. He was called to the Bar in 1979 and also has degrees from the National University of Ireland, Trinity College and Queens University, Belfast.