Towards Peace

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Biographies of Members of the Oversight Committee

Andrew Fagan (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 Gerard Nash was born in Tulla, Co Clare. Prior to studying for the priesthood he worked in business and the manufacturing industry. Ordained in June 1991 he was assigned to the Roscrea Vocational School as chaplain/teacher and as priest responsible for Roscrea Youth Centre.  In 1996 he was appointed as General Manager of Clarecare, and from 2003 was resident priest to Imeall Boirne, the first grouping of parishes in the Diocese of Killaloe. Appointed Diocesan Secretary in 2010, he took on the role as Director of Pastoral Development for the Diocese of Killaloe in 2016 and was ordained as  the 81st Catholic Bishop of Ferns in September 2021 . Bishop Ger joined the Oversight Committee in 2022 replacing Bishop Denis Brennan as the Bishop’s representative in the group.

Gerard Gallagher has worked with the Catholic Church for over thirty years. He worked in the Archdiocese of Dublin with Catholic Youth Care and Office for Evangelisation & Ecumenism. He has worked mainly with young adults. However he has been involved in many local, national and international faith events during a time of major change and adjustment of the Church’s role in Ireland. He is currently Interim Secretary General of AMRI (Association of Missionary and Religious Leaders Ireland). He is an accomplished author with seven books published, most recently Faith – In Search of Greater Glory in Sport. He is married and has three young adult children. Gerard joined the Committee in November 2023 replacing David Rose (Secretary General AMRI ) who is currently on sabatical.

Frances Harrington  has a background in providing administration support in business. She has worked for a number of years as a residential child-care worker. She has also worked on local voluntary committees  and was involved in setting up and managing the local community playschool. Frances holds a Diploma in Arts in Local and Community Studies and an Honours Degree in Community Studies from NUI Maynooth. Frances was a member of a board and participated in the survivor led consultation group (RISA),  serving  the interests of former residents of industrial schools. Frances joined the Oversight Committee in March  2023

Harry Casey served as Executive Administrator of the Commissions and Agencies of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference from 2004 – 2022. Harry worked for 18 years as a secondary teacher in  Navan Co. Meath. He also served as diocesan adviser for post primary Religious Education in the diocese of Meath. He joined the Oversight Committee in March 2023.

 Rev Hugh Lagan  is a priest with the Society of African Missions and a registered Clinical Psychologist. He has held various ministry appointments in East and Southern Africa, including pastoral, formation, clinical, education and safeguarding responsibilities. He has lead workshops internationally on psychological and spiritual well-being, positive mental health, trauma and resilience.

 Sr. Anne Sheehy is a Sister of Mercy.  She is a qualified nurse and worked in a number of settings including primary health care in Peru, nurse education in Cork, and a member of the Health Care Team in the Dóchas Centre.  She is a volunteer with the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas and serves as a local leader to a number of Mercy communities.

Aidan Gordon is a qualified Social Worker who has worked in both jurisdictions on the island during his career.  Married with 4 daughters Aidan held a number of Senior positions in the Western Health and Social Care Trust before being seconded to the Archdiocese of Armagh as Director of Safeguarding in January 2015.  In April 2024 he is taking up the role of CEO of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.