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.
Peter Tyndall was appointed Ombudsman on 2 December 2013. He spent the previous five years as the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. He has also worked in a variety of senior positions in housing and social care – most notably developing housing and support services for people with learning disabilities. He has also been chief executive of the Arts Council of Wales and head of education and culture for the Welsh Local Government Association.
Tyndall was chairman of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association for two years and is a member of the world and European boards of the International Ombudsman Institute. He has spoken and published extensively on Ombudsman issues.
Martin Fraser has been secretary general to both the Government and the Department of the Taoiseach since 1 August 2011.
He joined the Department of the Taoiseach as finance officer in 1999. He became an assistant secretary in the department in 2007 and, during his time there, he was head of the Northern Ireland, corporate affairs and economic and social policy divisions.
He previously worked in the Departments of Social Welfare, Foreign Affairs and Agriculture and Food.
David Moloney is the acting secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform from 6 January 2021. 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.