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Minister McEntee announces appointment of Chief State Pathologist

The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, T.D.  has today announced the appointment of Dr. Linda Mulligan as the Chief State Pathologist following an open competition run by the Public Appointments Service. 

Making the announcement, the Minister said,

"Dr. Mulligan is an accomplished and highly professional Consultant Forensic Pathologist with over 18 years’ experience, both nationally and internationally, in Forensic Pathology, Histopathology and Clinical Medicine. She has been filling the position as interim Chief State Pathologist since 2019.”

I am very pleased that a person of Dr. Mulligan’s calibre has been appointed to such an important senior public health position. The Office of the State Pathologist plays a vital role in our criminal justice system through the investigation of suspicious deaths. 

“I know the expertise, professionalism and empathy of our pathologist team makes a huge difference to bereaved families in the most difficult circumstances. Dr Mulligan’s deep experience will be of huge value in this vital role and I wish her well in her work and in her continued leadership of the Office.”

The Office of the State Pathologist is an agency under the aegis of the Department of Justice, providing independent expert advice on all matters pertaining to forensic pathology. The Office delivers a nationwide, year round service throughout the Republic of Ireland.

There is always a forensic pathologist on duty, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and an on-call rota is provided to An Garda Síochána and to all Coroners on a continual basis.

Commenting on her appointment as Chief State Pathologist, Dr Mulligan said,

I am both privileged and excited to take on this important role and follow in the footsteps of my esteemed predecessors.  I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of establishing our new team and developing a strategic plan for the office, with a firm focus on continuing to provide the highest quality national forensic pathology service to the coroners, An Garda Síochána, the criminal justice system and, most importantly, to the families of the deceased.”

The Minister concluded,

"I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the staff of this vital office who provide a really important public service and I commend them for the very difficult work which they carry out with great care and diligence, on behalf of the people of Ireland.”

The Minister expects to announce further appointments to the office in the coming weeks.


Notes for Editors

In July 2018, in anticipation of the retirements of Professor Cassidy and Dr. Curtis, the Department of Justice commissioned the Royal College of Physicians (RCPI) to conduct a review of the Office of the State Pathologist.   The aim of the review was to identify how the Office could best maintain and develop the high standard of services it has always provided, both now and into the future.

The review made a number of recommendations regarding the future operation of the OSP under a number of themes including recruitment. The Recruitment Campaigns for State Pathologist and Chief State Pathologist were advertised through the Public Appointments Service in October 2020 and the new Chief State Pathologist – Dr Linda Mulligan has now been appointed as a result of that competitive process.