Prominent Irish professor begins tenure as director of EU Agency for Fundamental Rights

Professor Michael O'Flaherty
Professor Michael O’Flaherty

A university professor who has held prominent offices in Irish and Northern Ireland human rights bodies has been begun his tenure as director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

Professor Michael O’Flaherty, who previously served as director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), began his tenure yesterday after being selected for the role in September.

Government minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin extended his “heartfelt congratulations to Michael O’Flaherty today as he begins what I am sure will be a progressive and exciting 5-year term at the helm of the Fundamental Rights Agency”.

Mr Ó Ríordáin said: “The selection process was arduous and the standard of candidates was extremely high.

“Michael’s tireless work, dedication and broad expertise in the field of fundamental rights at national, European and international levels secured him this significant position, and we in Ireland should be very proud of him and all he has achieved to date.”

He added: “We enjoy a very cooperative and constructive relationship with the Fundamental Rights Agency, and I look forward to continuing this collaborative work under Michael’s leadership.”

At a public round table event to welcome him to Vienna, Professor O’Flaherty said he looked forward to continuing to strengthen the impact of the work of the FRA, which contributes to the strengthening of fundamental rights protection in concrete and practical terms.

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