Towards Peace

Spiritual support for survivors of abuse by Catholic Church personnel in Ireland

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 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.

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 UCD and Facing Forward, ‘Sexual Trauma and Abuse: Restorative and Transformative Possibilities’.  Bernadette recently completed a three year course in Family History / Genealogy  at UCD.

Joseph Mc Donagh 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.

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.

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.

David Rose is the first layperson to serve as Secretary General of the Association of Leaders of Missionaries and Religious of Ireland (AMRI). He has previously worked for the Presentation Sisters, as Director of Presentation Ireland, where he led the setting up of a number of new programmes in social inclusion, community development, sustainable living and learning innovation, including establishing iScoil.ie, an innovative online learning organisation for young early school leavers. He served as Executive Director of Mary’s Meals Ireland, an overseas aid charity providing school meals in Africa and Asia. He was Deputy CEO of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council where we working on migrant rights and Indigenous land rights. He believes faith involves working for justice in building a more compassionate and sustainable world.