Two new members have been appointed to the Standards in Public Office Commission.
Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan (retired judge of the Court of Appeal) has been appointed by President Michael D Higgins for a six-year term as commission chair, effective 9 December 2020.
Mr Justice Sheehan began his career as a solicitor. He was appointed to the High Court in 2007, and to the Court of Appeal in 2014, where he served until his retirement in 2017.
Former member of Seanad Éireann Geraldine Feeney has been appointed by the Government to serve as an ‘ordinary member’ of the commission for a six-year term, effective 9 December 2020.
Geraldine Feeney served in the Seanad from 2002 until 2011. She was a member of the Irish Medical Council from 1999 to 2004, where she was the first lay person to serve as chair of its Ethics Committee.
The Standards in Public Office Act 2001 provides that the commission chair must be a current or former judge of the High Court, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court.
According to the act, the ordinary member must be a former member of either Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann.
The other four members of the commission are ex-officio members, and serve on the commission by virtue of their substantive positions.
Current ex-officio members are:
- Seamus McCarthy (Comptroller and Auditor General),
- Peter Tyndall (Ombudsman),
- Peter Finnegan (Clerk of Dáil Éireann), and
- Martin Groves (Clerk of Seanad Éireann).
The Standards in Public Office Commission oversees legislation governing ethics in public office, political finance, and the regulation of lobbying.