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The Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter TD, has announced 16 appointments to the Board of the Charities Regulatory Authority, that is to be established later this year under the terms of the 2009 Charities Act.

Fergus Finlay, Barnardos chief executive and former Labour Party adviser, is among the appointments whilst Conor Woods is to be appointed as chairperson of the new Authority. Mr Woods is an accountant and senior statutory auditor, who is currently chair of the Chartered Accountants Ireland charity committee.

The other 14 board members are:

Graham Richards: Managing Partner at MathesonOrmsby Prentice Solicitors and a Commissioner for Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland

Ann Fitzgerald: Barrister and member of Cork Simon Community’s board of directors

Patricia Cronin: Solicitor and vice-chairwoman of Transparency International Ireland

David Brady:  Accountant and advisor to the charity sector and former chair of the Charities and not-for-profit special interest group of Chartered Accountants Ireland

Patrick Hopkins: Enterprise Ireland accountant/company secretary and board member of St Vincent de Paul

Anna Classon: Head of fundraising at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Cynthia Clampett: CEO, Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation

Tom Costello: Programme Executive with the Atlantic Philanthropies

Senan Turnbull: Chair of Think Ahead Advisory Committee, Irish Hospice Foundation and a member of the working group of The Governance Code

Barbara O’Connell: Co-founder and chief executive of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and a board member of Disability Federation of Ireland and European Brain Injury Society

Hugh Maddock: Area organiser/fundraiser for the Rehabilitation Institute / Rehab Group

Sandra Chambers: Tax specialist with particular expertise in the area of establishment and funding of charities

Katie Cadden: Solicitor and former legal adviser to the Private Residential Tenancies Board

Noel Wardick: International programmes-consultant CBM Ireland, former head of the international department at the Irish Red Cross. Director on the governing boards of Transparency International Ireland and Comhlámh.

The Minister stated “The Charities Regulatory Authority will be an independent regulator for our charities. It will have powers under the Charities Act to introduce robust yet proportionate measures to improve the accountability and transparency of our charity sector”.

The proposed appointments follow a selection process facilitated by the Public Appointments Service. An open call for expressions of interest was issued by the Minister for Justice on 24 January 2014 and a total of 325 expressions of interest were received. The appointments will be formalised following the establishment of the Authority by Ministerial Order under the Charities Act later this year.

Minister Shatter appointed Úna Ní Dhubhghaill, a former official in the Department of Justice, as the authority’s first chief executive earlier this year.

The new board will hold its first meeting in the coming weeks. The chairperson will be invited to a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence to discuss his vision for the Authority.