New chief state pathologist appointed after three-year hunt
A new chief state pathologist has been permanently appointed nearly three years after the position became vacant.
Dr Linda Mulligan, who has served as interim chief state pathologist since June 2019, will now take on the important role on a permanent basis.
She had warned last year that Ireland was struggling to make senior appointments to the Office of the State Pathologist due to a “worldwide shortage of forensic pathologists”.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee said: “I am very pleased that a person of Dr Mulligan’s calibre has been appointed to such an important senior public health position. The Office of the State Pathologist plays a vital role in our criminal justice system through the investigation of suspicious deaths.
“I know the expertise, professionalism and empathy of our pathologist team makes a huge difference to bereaved families in the most difficult circumstances. Dr Mulligan’s deep experience will be of huge value in this vital role and I wish her well in her work and in her continued leadership of the Office.”
The Office of the State Pathologist is an agency under the aegis of the Department of Justice, providing independent expert advice on all matters pertaining to forensic pathology. The Office delivers a nationwide, year round service throughout the Republic of Ireland.
Commenting on her appointment, Dr Mulligan said: “I am both privileged and excited to take on this important role and follow in the footsteps of my esteemed predecessors.
“I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of establishing our new team and developing a strategic plan for the office, with a firm focus on continuing to provide the highest quality national forensic pathology service to the coroners, An Garda Síochána, the criminal justice system and, most importantly, to the families of the deceased.”
Ms McEntee added: “I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the staff of this vital office who provide a really important public service and I commend them for the very difficult work which they carry out with great care and diligence, on behalf of the people of Ireland.”
The minister expects to announce further appointments to the office in the coming weeks.