Published on 

Minister O’Gorman welcomes re-appointment of Dr Niall Muldoon as Ombudsman for Children

Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, today welcomed the re-appointment by the President of Dr Niall Muldoon as Ombudsman for Children for a second six year term with effect from 17 February 2021. 

The re-appointment follows the recent passing by both Houses of the Oireachtas of a motion, tabled by Minister O’ Gorman proposing that Dr Muldoon be re-appointed.

In welcoming the re-appointment Minister O’ Gorman said that “since taking up the post of Ombudsman for Children six years ago, Dr Muldoon has led the Office of the Ombudsman for Children very effectively and has been a strong and necessary advocate for children.” Specifically, he has:

  • ensured that children within the Direct Provision system can access the services of his Office after 17 years during which that was not the case.
  • played a central role in developing and setting up the Barnahus One House Pilot in Galway, which offers a one stop shop for children affected by sexual abuse.
  • brought the voices of seldom-heard children to the Oireachtas, through reports such as ‘No Place Like Home’, involving homeless children living in family hubs, and ‘Take My Hand’, involving in-patient children at adolescent psychiatric units.”

The Minister said that investigations carried out by the Office of the Ombudsman for Children, such as Molly’s case and Jack’s case, placed an important focus on care for disabled children. The Minister also welcomed the important systemic change such cases brought in areas such as Health, Education and Child Welfare.

The Minister concluded by saying that “I look forward to the Ombudsman for Children continuing to promote the welfare and rights of all children in Ireland during his second term of office.”

Note to Editors:

The Ombudsman for Children’s Office (OCO) was established in 2004 under the Ombudsman for Children Act, 2002. The main functions of the Office are to:

  • Promote the rights and welfare of children,
  • Examine and investigate complaints about services provided to children and young people under 18 years of age, and
  • Provide advice regarding children’s rights and conduct research on relevant issues.

The OCO engages with a diverse range of issues affecting children through the examination and investigation of complaints, engagement with developments in legislation and public policy, initiatives to hear and highlight the views of children, and activities to raise awareness of children’s rights.

The Ombudsman for Children is directly accountable to the Oireachtas in the exercise of his/her statutory functions. The OCO as a state body is subject to governance oversight by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. The Office received a financial allocation from my Department of €2.955m in 2021.