Board Bios

The position of Chair of the Board is currently vacant.


Andrew Fagan (Acting Chair) is the Director of Child Safeguarding and Protection for the Archdiocese of Dublin.  Andrew qualified as a social worker in Queens University Belfast and undertook post-graduate studies in child protection in Trinity College Dublin.  Prior to taking up his current post in 2010, Andrew worked for thirty or so years as a practitioner, manager and inspector of children’s services both in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.


Bishop Denis Brennan was born in Enniscorthy. He was ordained in 1970 at St Peter’s College, Wexford.  He was appointed to the House of Missions in 1970 and Administrator of St Senan’s Parish, Enniscorthy from 1986 until his appointment as parish priest of Taghmon in 1997.  He served as Vicar Forane for Wexford Deanery and as diocesan delegate charged with child protection.  He was ordained Bishop of Ferns in 2006.


Bishop John Buckley was born in Inchigeela in West Cork. He studied for the priesthood at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth and was ordained in 1965. He taught on the staff of St. Finbarr’s College, Farranferris, until he became its President in 1975. He worked for one year as parish priest of Turner’s Cross Parish, Cork. He was ordained Titular Bishop of Leptis Magna and Auxiliary Bishop of Cork and Ross in 1984. Bishop Buckley was installed as Bishop of Cork and Ross on in 1998. He served as one of the four bishops appointed to the Response to Survivors Initiative 2009-2011 by the Irish Episcopal Conference.


Ann Caulfield has a background in community development and works as a freelance facilitator and part-time lecturer in the GMIT. She holds a MA in Pastoral Leadership from All Hallows College for which she researched the silence that pertains to child sexual abuse.  She facilitated many dioceses, parishes and congregations in the wake of the Ryan and Murphy reports. Ann and is currently completing doctoral studies with the University of Lincoln and researching the contribution of mindfulness to occupational stress reduction.


Kathleen Duffy is married and lives in Ballina, Co. Mayo.  Her background is in nursing but she chose to stay at home during the years her family was growing up.  In 2001 she completed the course in Spiritual Direction in Manresa House, Dublin where she continues to work as a guest director.  At local level Kathleen is involved in planning weekly Children’s liturgies and in facilitating Ignatian Retreat days.


Bernadette Fahy B.A. M.Sc., is a Counselling Psychologist. She is the author of ‘Freedom of Angels’, a memoir of her childhood in Goldenbridge Industrial School.   She is an advocate for former residents of Institutional Abuse, a co-founder of the Aislinn Centre and has served on several Boards in the interest of former residents. Bernadette has conducted research on ‘the Role of Counselling in the lives of people raised in Care’ and in consultation with Marie Keenan of U.C.D. and Facing Forward, ‘Sexual Trauma and Abuse: Restorative and Transformative Possibilities’.  Bernadette recently completed a three year course in Family History / Genealogy  at U.C.D.


Pat Lucey was ordained in 1965 he is a friar of the Irish Dominican Province. As Provincial from 2004 until 2012 he was in a leadership role of the province in Ireland and its missions abroad. He has also been a member of the Executive Board of CORI (Conference of Religious of Ireland) for six years. More recently he has been a member of the Child Protection Panel of the Order. In these capacities he has gained good experience in the area of child protection.


Barbara McDermott  is the Director for Safeguarding for the Diocese of Down and Connor in Northern Ireland.  She has worked for the diocese for the past ten years.  A professionally qualified social worker with some thirty years’ experience in the field of statutory Child Protection, she is currently the interim Chair of the newly established Interfaith Subgroup of the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland.  She also sits as member of the regional N.I. committee of BASW (British association of Social Workers).


Joseph McDonagh has a background in Information Technology, Management, Counselling and Psychosexual Therapy.  He currently practices as a clinical supervisor and a spiritual director.  Joseph serves on a number of religious community committees and was the victim support person in the Dublin Diocese Child Safeguarding office for ten years.  He is married and lives in Dublin.



Myles O’Reilly is a Limerick Jesuit, who has degrees in Arts, Philosophy, Theology and Education. He is a founding member of Anamcharadas (soul friendship) – a movement that trains adult people in the art of soul companionship. Myles is chaplain to Bethany ( – a bereavement support service, and is a qualified teacher of the Enneagram and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).  He has provided spiritual companionship for people over the past thirty five years. 


Aidan Ryan is a priest of the diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise. He is currently parish priest at Ballinahown, near Athlone. Earlier in his ministry, he served as catechetical director for his diocese, as a volunteer missionary in Zambia and as spiritual director at the Irish College in Rome. He has conducted a number of retreats, mainly for diocesan clergy and seminarians, and acts as spiritual director on request in addition to his parochial duties.