As the Commission for Public Service Appointments, we are the principal regulator of recruitment and selection in the Irish public service. Our role is to ensure that appointments to the civil and public service are fair, transparent and merit-based.
The Commission was set up on 19 October 2004 under the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004. Its members are:
Seán Ó Fearghaíl is the 19th Ceann Comhairle (chairman) of Dáil Éireann (lower House of the Irish Parliament). He was elected on 10 March 2016 in the Dáil’s first election by secret ballot.
Ó Fearghaíl was a senator for South Kildare from 2000 until he was elected a TD in 2002. He has held his seat since then. He was the Fianna Fáil party whip and party spokesman for Defence; Arts, Heritage and Culture; and Constitutional Affairs from 2011 to 2016. He was chairman of the Oireachtas Health Committee from 2009 to 2011.
Before becoming involved in national politics, Ó Fearghaíl was a member – and chairman – of Kildare County Council. He has been involved in community, educational and housing organisations in his home county for many years.
Ger Deering was appointed Ombudsman and Information Commissioner for Ireland by President Michael D. Higgins in January 2022.
He was appointed Financial Services Ombudsman in 2015 and Pensions Ombudsman in 2016. He became the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman when both offices were merged in 2018.
Ger was the first Commissioner for Taxi Regulation, and he was the founding Director of the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA). He played a key role in leading the Workplace Relations Reform Programme.
Ger has extensive experience working across local government, community development, the civil service and the private sector.
John Callinan was appointed as Secretary General to the Government and Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach in May 2022.
Previously, John was the Second Secretary General at the Department of the Taoiseach since 2016. In that role he had lead responsibility for the International and EU Affairs Division and the Britain/Northern Ireland Division, including the Shared Island Unit. He was also the Taoiseach’s “Sherpa” (senior EU advisor) and lead negotiator on Brexit.
John joined the Department of the Taoiseach in 1998, and worked in a number of policy areas since then. He was appointed Assistant Secretary General in 2007 and led a number of Divisions in the Department between 2007 and 2016, including Economic Policy, Social Policy, EU and International Affairs, and Britain/Northern Ireland.
Prior to joining the Taoiseach’s department, John worked in a number of areas of the Revenue Commissioners. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he also spent four years at the European Commission in Brussels.
David Moloney is the secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. He is head of the Labour Market and Enterprise Division of the Department, with responsibility for various expenditure areas including Social Protection, Housing, Enterprise and Agriculture and for the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES).
Over the course of his career in the Civil Service, David has also served in the Department of the Taoiseach, the Department of Finance and the Department of Health.
Garrett Sheehan, retired judge of the Court of Appeal, has been appointed by President Michael Higgins to a six-year term as Commission Chairperson, effective 9 December 2020.
Garrett Sheehan began his career as a solicitor. He was appointed to the High Court in 2007, and to the Court of Appeal in 2014, where he served until his retirement in 2017.
Our work at the Commission is supported by a dedicated team led by Commission Director Elaine Cassidy and Secretary Sean Garvey. The Office of the Ombudsman also provides shared services in areas such as human resources, financial management and information and communications technology.