31st March 2022
The Board of IPRT today (31.03.2022) welcomes the appointment of Saoirse Brady as the new Executive Director of IPRT. The appointment follows a rigorous external recruitment process led by the IPRT Board of Directors.
Speaking on behalf of the Board, IPRT Chairperson Dr Seamus Taylor stated:
“It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Saoirse Brady as IPRT’s next Executive Director. Saoirse has extensive experience in human rights advocacy, alongside a proven track record of achieving meaningful change for the groups she has represented. Her strong vision, passion and enthusiasm for progressive penal policy reform came through clearly throughout the recruitment process.
“Acting in senior advocacy and rights-led roles, Saoirse is very well respected in her field and has developed productive relationships with civil society and other stakeholders. Saoirse’s expertise in effective partnership working towards shared goals will also be particularly beneficial to IPRT in realising our long-term goals as we enter our next chapter.
“Saoirse’s appointment represents an exciting opportunity for fresh perspectives, coupled with an experienced staff team, as the Board works with Saoirse to develop our ambitious plans for the future of the organisation and the penal reform landscape in Ireland. The Board is looking forward to working with Saoirse, and we have no doubt that IPRT will continue to develop under her leadership.”
Saoirse Brady succeeds Fíona Ní Chinnéide, who made an immense contribution to IPRT over her three years in post and decade of experience in other senior roles in IPRT.
Speaking on her appointment as Executive Director, Ms Brady commented:
“I am delighted to take up the role as Executive Director of IPRT, an organisation that I've long admired and respected for its rights-based and impactful advocacy to make the Irish penal system more fair and just. I'm particularly excited to lead the development of a new strategic plan, building on IPRT's many successes and identifying key priorities for the next five years at a time of opportunity for real and meaningful change.
“I would like to pay tribute to the previous Executive Directors of IPRT who have shaped the organisation into the well-respected, dynamic human rights organisation it is today. I'm looking forward to working with the dedicated and impressive team and the expert Board to respond to and meet the challenges posed by the pandemic and beyond. Most importantly, IPRT will continue to advocate for everyone who comes into contact with the Irish penal system – whether they are in prison, on probation, a young person involved with the youth justice system, or a family member impacted by imprisonment – to be treated fairly, with dignity and have their rights respected".
Saoirse will formally assume the post on Tuesday 3rd May 2022. Until that date, the IPRT staff team will continue to be led by Acting Executive Director, Molly Joyce, who will then resume her role as Legal and Public Affairs Manager (Deputy Director).
For enquiries, contact the IPRT office on 01 874 1400
Saoirse Brady currently works as Head of Legal, Policy and Public Affairs at the Children’s Rights Alliance, a role she has held since 2016. Saoirse has previously held positions in a number of leading rights organisations, including the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) and Front Line Defenders. She has also acted as an independent consultant for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC). Saoirse was selected to participate in a Professional Fellowship Rule of Law Exchange programme, co-sponsored by the US Department of State and Boston College, involving a placement with Boston-based Citizens for Juvenile Justice where she researched the use of mental health courts in the US. Saoirse’s educational background is in Law with a specialism in Human Rights Law.
Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT)
Established in 1994, the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) is Ireland’s leading non-governmental organisation campaigning for the rights of everyone in the penal system and the progressive reform of Irish penal policy, with prison as a sanction of last resort. IPRT publishes a wide range of evidence-informed policy positions and research documents; campaigns across a wide range of penal policy issues; and has been established as the leading independent voice in public debate on the Irish penal system.