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Solicitor Des Hogan to chair data watchdog
(Pic: Shutterstock)

13 Feb 2024 / regulation Print

Solicitor Des Hogan to chair data watchdog

Solicitor Dr Des Hogan is one of two new data-protection commissioners who will replace outgoing commissioner Helen Dixon, whose tenure ends on 19 February.

The other new commissioner is Dale Sunderland, the current deputy commissioner at the Data Protection Commission (DPC). Hogan will also chair the DPC.

Both will serve five-year terms, beginning on 20 February. Their appointment follows a competition organised by the Public Appointments Service (PAS).

Significant growth

In 2022, the Government approved a process to increase the number of commissioners to three. A process to fill the remaining vacancy will begin “shortly”, according to the Department of Justice.

The department said that the decision to appoint two commissioners was taken after a review that looked at how best to support the significant growth in the DPC’s size, scope, and responsibility over the past decade.

Dr Hogan has been Assistant Chief State Solicitor in the Office of the Chief State Solicitor since 2015. He had previously held a number of senior positions in the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) – including that of acting chief executive from 2012 to 2014.


Sunderland has been a deputy commissioner of the DPC at director level since June 2022, with a leading role in the supervision of global social-media and internet companies based in Ireland. He had previously worked for the Department of Justice in various roles from 2002 to 2016.

Minister McEntee said that the new commissioners would support ”an effective and well-resourced, highly-skilled regulator”.

“In recent years, as GDPR and protection of personal data have moved into mainstream public consciousness, the DPC has seen its workload increase in all areas of the organisation,” she added.

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