Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC appointed special rapporteur on child protection
Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC has been appointed as the Irish government’s special rapporteur on child protection for a three-year term.
Ms Gallagher is an accomplished international human rights lawyer and barrister, originally from Dublin and based in Doughty Street Chambers in London.
She has acted in many of the leading children’s rights cases before United Nations bodies, the European Court of Human Rights and courts in the UK and other jurisdictions. She also sits part-time as a coroner, responsible for undertaking investigations into suspicious child deaths.
She was appointed as a national reviewer for the Child Safeguarding Review Panel for England and Wales from 2019-2021, a role requiring the investigation of systemic child protection issues and learning national lessons from child deaths and other cases involving serious harm to children.
Roderic O’Gorman, the minister for children, equality, disability, integration and youth, said: “Caoilfhionn is an international human rights lawyer and barrister, with a wealth of expertise in the areas of children’s rights and child welfare and protection. I look forward to working with her during her term.”
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Gallagher said: “This is a critical time for children’s rights and child protection in Ireland. There are many pressing and urgent challenges, some of which have been highlighted by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in the days leading up to my appointment.
“This independent role is a vital one, and I look forward to working with the government, specialist organisations and children and young people during my term to meet my mandate.”
She succeeds child law expert Dr Conor O’Mahony, who was appointed to the role in 2019.
Mr O’Gorman said: “I would like to thank Professor O’Mahony for his work as special rapporteur on child protection over the last three years.
“The comprehensive annual reports as well as the other priority reports delivered during his tenure are of interest to my own department as well as to a number of other departments and agencies.
“His work has been influential in the development and review of child protection policy and legislation as well as across the wider system.”