Authority Members

The Charities Regulator is an independent authority, established under the Charities Act 2009. The Authority Members were appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Minister of State for the Department of Rural and Community Development

Profiles

The Authority currently comprises 10 members, 7 of whom were appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality and 3 of whom were recently appointed by the Minister of State for the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Read about them here.

Patrick Hopkins

Chairperson

Patrick is an accountant and was Company Secretary and Manager - Corporate Services Division at Enterprise Ireland (EI) prior to his retirement in November 2013. He was previously Head of Finance in Forbairt, Eolas and IIRS. He was appointed to the Student Grants Appeals Board in July 2016. He is a member of St Vincent de Paul conference in Tallaght and was a member of their East Region Finance Committee until his appointment as Chairman of the Charities Regulator.

David Brady

David Brady is a Chartered Accountant, consultant and advisor to the charity sector. He is a senior consultant with Partas and was formerly Chair of the Charities and Not-For-Profit Special Interest Group of Chartered Accountants Ireland. He has previously performed executive roles in Marsh Ireland, Kepner-Tregoe and KPMG.

Katie Cadden

Katie is a solicitor with significant experience in charity law, public law and litigation. She has advised a range of charitable organisations on various legal and governance matters. She is also experienced in designing, implementing and auditing quality management systems in legal practice to an international standard. Katie frequently lectures on a range of legal topics and currently lectures on the Certificate in Charity Law, Trusteeship and Governance course at the Law Society of Ireland. Katie holds a first class honours LL.M in Public Law and a Diploma in French Studies from the Unviersité de Poitiers, France.

Tom Costello

Tom spent 14 years with The Atlantic Philanthropies, leaving the foundation in December 2014 as part of its planned wind-down. He holds a B.Ed primary degree, and a Masters in Management (Organisation Behaviour) from Trinity College, Dublin. Prior to joining Atlantic, Tom held a variety of leadership positions in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors; in programme and project management, assessment of social investment opportunities and contributing to policy and practice development in a variety of fields, including labour market programmes, childrens' and older people’s services, education and community development. From 1997 to 2000 Tom was a member of the faculty of the Irish Management Institute where he led programmes and consultancies on organisation development and change management. He is a member of the Government Advisory Council on Children and Young People and for 4 years served as Chair of the Children’s Rights Alliance.

Patricia Cronin

Patricia is a solicitor who has worked in both the private and public sectors, including over 25 years in various roles with IDA Ireland.

Fergus Finlay

Since June 2005 Fergus Finlay has been Chief Executive of Barnardos children’s charity. For around twenty years prior to that he was employed as Senior Adviser to the Labour Party, serving in three governments and working for the party in opposition. He was one of the drafters of the 'Downing Street Declaration' and was centrally involved in the election of President Mary Robinson in 1990, together with other political events of the period. He also served for three years as a Director of Wilson Hartnell Public Relations. He is the author of four best-selling books. He has founded a number of organisations that campaign for the rights of people with disabilities, and was Chairperson of Special Olympics Ireland for four years. He is also Chairman of Lakers, an organisation that works to provide services for people with an intellectual disability in the Bray/South Dublin area, and in 2016 was appointed as Chair of the government’s Implementation Group in respect of a Comprehensive Employment Strategy for people with disabilities. He broadcasts regularly on radio and television, and contributes a weekly column to the 'Irish Examiner'.

Graham Richards

Graham is a Notary Public and a retired solicitor. He was a Commissioner of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland from 2004 to the dissolution of the Commissioners and transfer of their functions to the Charities Regulator in 2014. Graham is a member of a number of charitable organisations and foundations.

Máire McMahon

Máire McMahon is a practising solicitor in a general practice in Tipperary, with a keen interest in family law. She holds a BCL from UCC and an LLM in Family Law and Family Policy from the University of East Anglia. Máire served as Trustee and National Vice President with Responsibility for Governance with the Society of St Vincent de Paul for a period of 5 years, and during that time completed a Certificate in Charity Trusteeship and Governance from the Law Society of Ireland in conjunction with The Wheel. She remains involved at local level with the charity and also sits on the board of a local childrens' services charity in Tipperary.

Niamh Cahill

Niamh Cahill is a barrister specialising in corporate governance advice to the charity and not for profit sectors. She has worked in both the private and the state sectors and was previously Company Lawyer / Company Secretary in EirGrid plc. She is an Associate of Better Boards and a Member of the Mental Health Commission.

Ercus Stewart

Ercus Stewart SC has practised at the Bar since 1970. Since 1982 he has been a Senior Counsel. His practice centres on civil, commercial and labour law, litigation and arbitration. He is also a member of the Bars of Northern Ireland, England and Wales and Australia (NSW). In addition to his law practice, Ercus is an arbitrator, in international and domestic Commercial Arbitration, and also a Mediator. He is also a member of and arbitrated under the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS - TAS) Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a former chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Irish Branch, and is author of "Arbitration Commentary and Sources" published in 2003 by Firstlaw, and "Compensation on Dismissal: Employment Law and Practice" published in 2008 by Bloomsbury Professional. He has been a visiting lecturer on the Diploma in Arbitration programme in the School of Law at UCD since the inception of the programme - in which he was instrumental - since 1997. He has been involved in charity work and charitable organisations for over 50 years, including Chernobyl Children's Project International, Romania Breadbasket Appeal, Care After Prison, Crann - Trees for Ireland, among others. He was joint founder, and chair for many years, of Just Sport Ireland, to help resolve sports disputes in Ireland, and was involved for many years in CARE - Campaign for the Care of Deprived Children.

Information Re Sub-Committees

The Authority has established four committees:

  • Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

    The Finance, Audit and Risk Committee was established to assist the Authority in fulfilling its responsibilities relating to:

    • Financial reporting;
    • Risk management;
    • Systems of internal control;
    • Audit;
    • The Charity Regulator’s process for monitoring compliance with its statutory obligations.

    Its members consist of:

    • David Brady (Chairperson & Authority member);
    • Marie McMahon (Authority member);
    • Adrian Clements (External);
    • Nuala Comerford (External).
  • Regulatory Committee

    The committee was established to oversee the effectiveness and controls around the delivery of the Authority's registration, reporting and other regulatory functions.

    Its members consist of:

    • Katie Cadden (Chairperson & Authority member);
    • Patricia Cronin (Authority member);
    • Tom Costello (Authority member).
  • Performance and Resource Planning Committee

    The Committee was established to assist the Authority to manage the recruitment of a CEO, to oversee the performance management process for senior management and to consider the terms and conditions of members of staff of the Charities Regulator including the terms under which staff are assigned/seconded/allocated/transferred to the Charities Regulator.  There are four members on the committee, all of whom are members of the Authority.

    • Paddy Hopkins (Chairperson & Authority member);
    • Tom Costello (Authority member);
    • Patricia Cronin (Authority member);
    • Fergus Finlay (Authority member).
  • Charity Services Committee

    The Committee was established to assist the Authority in carrying out the functions previously vested in the Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests.  These include authorising disposal of charity property, appointment of new trustees and vesting of charity property in trustees, framing of Schemes of Incorporation and Cy-Près Schemes and approval of grants and scholarships.

    Its members consist of:

    • Graham Richards (Chairperson & Authority member); 
    • Ercus Stewart (Authority member);
    • Niamh Cahill (Authority member);
    • Judge John O’Connor (External).