Independent Complaints Panel

Caroline Lynch

Initially employed as a journalist with the Irish Press Newspaper Group for almost seven years (1989-1995) before working in the community and voluntary sector for over 20 years.  Held  senior communications roles with the Irish Red Cross Society (1995-1998) and Trocaire (1998-2004) and worked with a number of organisations including trade unions and NGOs while employed with Montague Communications (2004-2005).  Moved into managing communications and advocacy with  the Irish Hospice Foundation (2005-2014).  During this time, managed the work of the National Council of the Forum on End of Life in Ireland and its flagship Think Ahead document and process.  Served on a number of boards and currently on the board of Hospice Africa Ireland.

Kieran Coughlan

Entered the civil service in 1973 and was appointed to Leinster House in October of that year and served 40 years in the Houses of the Oireachtas administration in various roles from 1973 -2013, 23 of which were at the most senior level as Clerk of the Dail and Secretary General of the Houses of the Oireachtas Service and Chief Executive to the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission. He served in various statutory Commissions: Ethics in Public Office Commission (subsequently   Standards in Public Office), Referendum Commission and Constituency Revision Commission from 1990 to 2013 and the Commission on Electronic Voting 2005 and was appointed to the National Heritage Council in June 2016. He was appointed Adjunct Professor within the College of Business and Law, University College Cork in March, 2017.

Pat Whelan

Pat Whelan is a former Director General of the Office of the Ombudsman for Ireland. Since his retirement from that position in 2012, he has been engaged on a consultancy basis with a number of public and private sector agencies.

Pat holds a degree in Science from University College, Dublin and a Masters Degree in Management Science from Trinity College, Dublin. After graduating, he worked with British Telecom in London, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs in Dublin, the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Finance. He also served with the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland.

He joined the Office of the Ombudsman in 1985 and served as Director General for 16 years. He worked closely with Ireland’s first three ombudsmen and oversaw the creation of the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Standards in Public Office Commission and the Referendum Commission and the amalgamation of these independent agencies, along with the Commission for Public Service Appointments, within the organisational structure of the Office of the Office of the Ombudsman

He participated in various sub-committees of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association (now called the Ombudsman Association) on a range of issues including the development of best practice in complaint handling and governance for ombudsman offices. He also served for six years as Chair of the internal audit committee of the Public Appointments Service.

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