Press Release

Minister Harney announces new Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland and the appointment of Members to its Council

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, today (22 May 2007) announced the establishment of the new Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland and the membership of the Society’s new Council.

This arises from the enactment of the Pharmacy Act, 2007, a major modernisation of the law governing the regulation of pharmacists and pharmacy practice.

At the appointment of the Council today, the Minister said,“This is the first time that healthcare professionals in the pharmacy sector in Ireland will be regulated under statute. It is a very significant step in putting standards of professional practice on a comprehensive legal footing.

“ The establishment of the new Pharmaceutical Society and its Council demonstrates my commitment to ensuring that professions like pharmacy are well regulated in the interests of patient safety and best practice, and public protection.” The Minister congratulated the twenty-one members of the Council. For the first time, the Council of the Society includes a non-pharmacist majority. The Minister said,

“I am very pleased to say that the principle of non-professionals being in the majority, which began with the Board of the Health & Social Care Professionals Council, is being carried through to other regulatory bodies under the aegis of my Department.

“Pharmacists will work with other people of standing and expertise on the Council to advance the interests of the profession in the areas of patient safety, education, training and compliance, to the ultimate benefit of patients and the public.”

The Minister requested the new Council to commence work immediately on the new procedures and policies which need to be developed before further sections of the Act can be commenced.

The Minister also pointed out that “In order to remove the derogation whereby there was a restriction on pharmacists educated in other EU or EEA countries from owning, managing or supervising a pharmacy in Ireland that is less than three years old to be removed, the new Council must first put in place a modern regulatory regime, including an updated registration system which deals with forensic and linguistic competency.”

The Minister recognised that this will constitute a substantial and important body of work for the new Council and she wished it every success in its task.

The Minister also thanked the outgoing Council of the Society which she noted, in recent years, had successfully steered the Society and its members through a period of increasing change in the sector, with great dedication and commitment. A number of members of the old Council had been appointed to the new Council and their role would be vital to achieving the new role for the Society envisaged in the Pharmacy Act.

Purpose of the Act The Pharmacy Act 2007 provides for a modern framework for the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, an enhanced and modern system of regulation of the pharmacy profession in Ireland, including fitness to practice regime, and including the removal of the derogation whereby there was a restriction on pharmacists educated in other EU or EEA countries from owning, managing or supervising a pharmacy in Ireland that is less than three years old.

In brief the Pharmacy Act provides for:

  • a stronger statutory basis for the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, to include: Governance of the PSI, including wider non-pharmacist representation on its Council,
  • Updating regulations for the registration of pharmacists, including non-EU\EEA graduates, and introducing registration for pharmacy businesses,
  • Matters concerning the delivery of community pharmaceutical services, such as linguistic and forensic competence and experience for supervisory pharmacists,
  • the removal of the prohibition – the ‘derogation’ – on non-Irish graduates being supervising pharmacists in pharmacies less than 3 years old,
  • fitness to practice provisions, to ensure the highest standards from pharmacists and to safeguard the safe and effective delivery of pharmaceutical services to all citizens of the State.


First Council of the New Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland

Outgoing PSI Council Nominees

  • Dr. William Boles
  • Mr. Cormac Deasy
  • Mr. Paul Fahey
  • Ms. Noeleen Harvey
  • Mr. Brendan Hayes
  • Dr. Bernard Leddy
  • Mr. Darragh O’Loughlin
  • Mr. Rónan Quirke
  • Prof. Peter Weedle

IMB Nominee

  • Ms. Rita Purcell, Director of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Irish Medicines Board.

HSE Nominee

  • Prof. John Feely, Head of Department Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics Trinity College Dublin

Pharmacy Schools Nominee

  • Dr. Paul Gallagher, Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Continuing Professional Development in relation to Pharmacy

  • Prof. June Nunn, Head of Department & Professor of Special Care Dentistry, TCD

Public Interest

  • Mr. Richard Durkin, Chartered Accountant/Auditor
  • Mr. Colm Fagan, Actuary – Founder and Chairman of Life Strategies Limited
  • Ms. Cathriona Hallihan, General Manager WWW Microsoft Business Solutions
  • Ms. Ita Kelleher
  • Ms. Deirdre Larkin, Chartered Accountant
  • Ms. Michelle Ní Longáin, Senior Partner, BCM Hanby Wallace, Head of Health Division
  • Ms. Phil O’Neill, Head of Operations and Clinical Support, Mater Hospital
  • Detective Chief Superintendent Noirin O’Sullivan, An Garda Siochana