Appointment to the Psychologists Registration Board


On the nomination of the Minister for Education and Skills, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris T.D., has appointed the following person as a member of the Psychologists Registration Board.  Her appointment is for a period of not more than 4 years from 12 September 2017.

Dr Eimear Spain

Dr Spain is a Senior Lecturer in Health Law at the University of Limerick. She lectures in Health Law – including Mental Health Law – to students across the Graduate Entry Medical School, the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, the Department of Clinical Therapies and the School of Law at the University. She has also designed and developed a new module in Law and Psychology to be delivered across a number of faculties in the University in 2018/19.

Appointments to the new Psychologists Registration Board


Following a recent Public Appointments Service campaign for appointment of members to the Psychologists Registration Board, the Minister for Health has appointed the following persons. These appointments are for a period of not more than 4 years from 21st July 2017.

Mr. Niall Byrne has been working in his current position as Registrar and Chief Officer of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) since July 2016. He has over 15 years senior management experience including previous positions with the Public Appointments Service (PAS), Health Information & Quality Authority (HIQA) and the charitable organisation Cheshire Ireland. Prior to serving in these positions he worked in the Civil Service for 18 years. He has extensive experience of reporting to statutory boards as well as board membership in the voluntary sector. In this regard he is currently chairperson of the Dyslexia Association of Ireland where he is leading the process of bringing the organisation into compliance with the Code of Governance for Community and Voluntary Organisations. Other bodies of which he is a member include the Audit & Risk Committee of Scouting Ireland. Mr. Byrne is also a voluntary adult literacy tutor with City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB). His academic qualifications include a Master of Business Studies from UCD.

Ms. Anne Ellis is a recently retired healthcare professional with over 20 years management experience in the HSE. She trained as a nurse in the UK before returning to work in Ireland as a midwife. She has worked for over 36 years in the health services, including 12 years as Assistant Director of Nursing and Midwifery in University Hospital Waterford (UHW), a role involving provision of high levels of professional and clinical leadership. During her time as Assistant Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Ms. Ellis collaborated with the University of Limerick (UL) to establish a site for midwifery placements for the direct entry midwifery students at UHW. She was also a member of the education committee for midwifery training at UL, representing the maternity services in the South East. She has been involved for the past 12 years in the Waterford Healing Arts Trust, which brings arts experiences to the patients at UHW and other healthcare settings.

Ms. Sinead Fitzgerald commenced her career at the former Eastern Health Board and has 25 years experience working as a Clinical Psychologist in the public health service. She has served as Principal Clinical Psychologist and Director of Clinical Practice at TCD/HSE Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Programme for the past 15 years. She considers her greatest success in this area has been to bring the voice of service users as central stakeholders across all aspects of the training programme. As part of her HSE role Ms. Fitzgerald has responsibility for the employment and management of 50 doctorate level clinical psychology trainees, overseeing their personal, professional and clinical development. Ms. Fitzgerald was appointed by the Minister to membership of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council on 14 November 2016 as a representative of the profession of psychologist. Her educational qualifications include, inter alia, an MA in Clinical Psychology from UCD. She became an Honorary Adjunct Assistant Professor at TCD in 2016.

Dr. Natalie Hession is currently serving as Principal Psychologist Manager and Senior Psychologist at Psycho-Oncology Services at St. Luke’s Hospital, Dublin. She has 12 years experience as a Psychologist in cancer care, including 4 years as a manager. As psychology manager she has expanded the service through introduction of specialised psycho-oncology therapies, staff training and internationally recognised research. Dr. Hession has led many change management projects, including a particularly challenging project which focused on the training of the key stakeholders in St. Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network (SLRON) in psychological skills. She sits on many committees including, amongst others, the Irish Psych-Oncology Group and chairs the Irish Hospital Psychologist Group. She has lectured, supervised research, made many professional presentations and also produced a number of publications. Dr. Hession was awarded her Doctorate in Counselling Psychology in 2005 by University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. 

Dr. Gráinne Kirwan is Chartered Psychologist and lecturer in Psychology in Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), teaching in both their Psychological Society of Ireland accredited BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology and the MS in Cyberpsychology. She has eighteen years experience in teaching psychology in two Irish institutions (UCD and IADT) and was an Associate Professor at a university in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. She has been involved in research with academics from a number of international universities and has given presentations on many occasions, including at conferences both in Ireland abroad. Dr. Kirwan’s experience in the development of the MSc in Cyberpsychology in IADT led to her recent appointment as an external advisor to the University of Wolverhampton to aid in the development of their proposed Masters in Cyberpsychology. She is the current Chair of the Psychological Society of Ireland’s Special Interest Group in Media, the Arts and Cyberpsychology. She has been a recipient of funding in respect of a number of projects, has supervised postgraduate student research and has published extensively in her field of expertise.  Dr. Kirwan was awarded her PhD by UCD in 2006.

Mr. John T. Malone, who is a retired former Prison Governor, has served in many different penal establishments during the course of his 40 year career in the prison service. He commenced his career as a prison officer at Mountjoy Prison and St. Patrick’s Institution, rising to the positions of Assistant Governor and Deputy Governor at Arbour Hill and Midlands prisons respectively, before his appointment to the position of Governor of the latter institution in 2007. In his role as Governor of the Midlands Prison Mr. Malone was responsible for the administration of the largest prison campus in the State and the welfare health of over a thousand inmates, and led the programme for the development and expansion of the institution, including the transfer of all the inmates from the former Curragh Prison. In his capacity as a senior manager in the prison service he has conducted many investigations into aspects of the penal system and has been closely associated with the judicial process, including representation of the prison service in the High Court in both criminal and civil cases.

Ms. Edel Moloney has worked as a Chartered Work and Organisational Psychologist with social enterprise organisations for the past 10 years, serving as Compliance and Standards Manager with Northside Partnership and Change and Development Manager with Speedpak Ltd. Prior to serving in these bodies she had experience working as a Senior Technical Adviser with Irish Life Assurance, as a Team leader in Beaumont Hospital and as a senior consultant with a company in Sussex in the UK. She is a qualified mediator and worked on a voluntary basis with Mediation Northside for 4 years providing family, community, employment and elder mediation within the community. Ms. Moloney is currently Chair of the Discovery Community Training Centre which offers second chance education opportunities to early school leavers, and was formerly a board member of Breastcheck and the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS).  Her professional qualifications include an MSc (Hons) Work & Organisational Psychology.

Dr. Fiona Weldon is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist providing clinical psychological services in the areas of assessment (adult mental health and forensic), clinical seminars, and organisational consultancy services to private/state organisations and individuals. She is currently consultant to the Department of Health regarding the Consultation Process for the National Drugs Strategy. Dr. Weldon has over 16 years experience across the private and public sectors, including 4 years as a Senior Psychologist in the National Forensic Psychiatric Service Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum where she worked within a multidisciplinary team with clients with enduring mental illness. She subsequently worked for 6 years as CEO/Clinical Director of the Rutland Centre, a residential and outpatient addiction treatment centre. Dr. Weldon was responsible for the executive function of the operations of the Centre, including clinical development of the therapeutic programme, and supported the organisation through a significant change management process. Her professional qualifications include a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology awarded by TCD in 2004.

Mr. Kieran Woods retired from the HSE in 2016 having worked as a psychologist for over thirty-seven years. Following his professional training with the Eastern Health Board he worked directly with the adult and child mental health services for nine years providing psychological services to service users and their families. He was subsequently appointed Psychology Manager of Donegal Psychology Service wehre he worked for twenty-six years, in addition to  managing the Donegal Bereavement Service and COSC (a treatment programme for sexual offenders). He also served on the Donegal Mental Health Area Catchment Management Team. He was, in addition, a member of the local mental health policy group responsible for drawing up policies, procedures and guidelines which informed practice within the service. Mr. Woods has been a member of a variety of committees and working groups at national, regional and local level. His academic qualifications include an MA in Clinical Psychology from UCD. 

With the consent of the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has appointed the following persons. These appointments are for a period of not more than 4 years from 21st July 2017.

Ms. Joan Fitzgerald retired in 2012 following a long career in the pharmaceutical industry where she reached executive level and has gained considerable managerial experience both in Ireland and in the US.  In the 3 years following her early retirement she worked as an independent consultant with a number of pharmaceutical companies in Europe before returning to academic life where she is currently completing an MSc in Clinical Neuroscience in NUI Galway. Ms. Fitzgerald obtained a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology from UCD in 1976.  In her professional career Ms. Fitzgerald served in a number of positions with Allergan Inc. from 1978 to 2012, rising to Vice President of the company in 2008. In this role she was responsible for overseeing the Worldwide QA Biologics function.  Earlier positions with Allergan included Quality Assurance Director, Botox Facility, Project Manager Pharma Facility, and Microbiology Supervisor. She had also previously worked with other pharmaceutical companies, including Travenol Laboratories Ltd and Bimeda Chemicals.

Mr. Paul Longmore is a social worker and psychotherapist with extensive experience in the field of mental health across a range of settings, sectors and roles. He is currently serving as Clinical Governance Manager at Jigsaw, a voluntary sector organisation funded by the HSE which provides mental health services to young people aged 12-25 years. In this position he plays a significant role in the establishment of new services by the organisation in addition to managing lead clinicians and supporting trans-disciplinary teams. He previously worked for 8 years as a senior mental health social worker with Dublin North City and County Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and prior to that as a social worker responsible for separated children seeking asylum, including child victims of trafficking. Mr. Longmore has lectured in Psychotherapy and Social Work at UCD and TCD and served, inter alia, on the committee of the Irish Association of Social Workers CAMHS Special Interest Group. His academic qualifications include a Masters in Social Work from TCD.

Ms. Úna Doyle O’Sullivan is a founding partner of Doyle Solicitors in which she has extensive experience in, inter alia, medical defence law, healthcare law and employment law. Her firm is one of nine appointed nationally by the State Claims Agency to defend medical negligence claims. She originally qualified as a psychiatric nurse and has served as one of the chairpersons of the Mental Health Tribunals under the Mental Health Commission since their inception in 2006. In this capacity Ms. Doyle O’Sullivan has been involved in analysing and confronting legal issues which may arise in the course of their implementation.  She has also been involved in roles as diverse as membership of the Legal Aid Board where she administered the Legal Aid Scheme and the Board of Professional Conduct of the Psychological Society of Ireland. She is a guest lecturer and course developer in both the Law Department and Psychology Department in UCC.  Her educational qualifications include first class honours LLM awarded by UCC in 2012.