Irish Penal Reform Trust

IPRT Board of Directors

Dr Seamus Taylor (Chairperson)

Seamus is a Lecturer in Social Policy Studies in the Department of Applied Social Studies, NUI Maynooth. He has worked as Director of Equality and Diversity at the public prosecution service for England and Wales and as Director of Strategy at the Commission for Racial Equality, as well as working in local government and serving on a number of national bodies in Britain. He is currently a member of the UK based Hate Crime Research Group. Seamus was awarded a CBE in the British Honours system in 2010 in recognition of work on equality in the UK legal system.

Prof Aislinn O'Donnell (Vice Chairperson)

Aislinn is a Professor of Education in Maynooth University. She has lectured in Philosophy and Philosophy of Education at a number of universities including the University of Dundee, University College Dublin, National College of Art and Design, and Mary Immaculate College (University of Limerick). Her writing, teaching and research involve engagement in a range of formal settings, such as schools, as well as informal settings and non-traditional sites of learning, including closed institutions. She has published widely, including on topics relating to imprisonment and education.

Kevin Gregory (Treasurer)

Kevin is Director of Finance, IT & Governance with Barnardos Ireland.  A Chartered Accountant, Kevin has considerable experience in the not for profit sector, working at a senior level in The Community Foundation for Ireland, Business in the Community, Focus Ireland, Vita and St. Michaels House.  Kevin previously was an Associate Director with Savills and Head of Finance and Operations in an e-commerce firm.  Kevin qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC and has a B.Comm, MSc and Diploma in Project Management.

Kathleen Leader SC (Secretary)

Kathleen is a practising barrister, working in the area of criminal law. She has been Senior Counsel since 2018, having previously been Junior Counsel since 2002.

Dr Cormac Behan 

Dr Cormac Behan teaches criminology at the School of Languages, Law and Social Sciences, Technological University Dublin. His research interests include penal history, prisoners’ rights, comparative penology and prison education.

Prior to this, he taught criminology at the Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield. From 1997 to 2011, he taught politics and history in Irish prisons. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the European Prison Education Association, has served on the executive boards of the Correctional Education Association, and was the founding chairman of the Irish Prison Education Association. Cormac will also be the new Chair of the IPRT Progress in the Penal System Advisory Group, having joined the Advisory Group in 2020.. 

Dr Lisa Cuthbert

Lisa has been the CEO of PACE (Prevention Accommodation Community Enterprise) since 1999, and has overseen the growth and development of PACE. Lisa has developed an extensive programme of pre- and post-release services for life sentence and long-term sentence prisoners and has introduced a range of accommodation services for men leaving prison.

Ashling Golden 

Ashling is Justice Programmes Manager in Solas Project, working with young people aged 15-24 who are no longer suitable for diversion, before the courts, in prison and returning to the community post custody. She works face-to-face with these young people, while also managing the staff and the strategic development of the work. Previously, Ashling worked for eight years in a Garda Youth Diversion Project in Dublin's North Inner City, as well as with Roca in Boston, an organisation focused on young gang members. Ashling has a BA in Public Administration and Community Development from the University of Limerick, as well as a Master's in Youth and Community Work from the National University of Maynooth and a Master’s in Criminology from TU Dublin.

Liz Leavy

Liz is Human Resources Director at XS Direct. Prior to that, she was Senior HR Manager at Diebold Nixdorf from 2012 - 2021, and also has held various senior HR positions. Her skills include executive coaching, employee relations, developing and incorporating policies and procedures, and project management.

Noel Moloney

Noel has over 18 years of experience working within the Asset Management sector spanning Dublin, Luxembourg, and London. He holds an MBA from Trinity College Dublin, is an ACCA-qualified accountant, and holds a Diploma in Investments and Securities from the Institute of Banking and a Diploma in IFRS with Chartered Accountants Ireland.
Noel is currently a Director in a leading Irish consulting firm. He assists his clients with their Governance, Operational, and Risk models to ensure best practices and alignment with regulatory expectations.
Noel is also a member of the Operational Risk Committee with Irish Funds. In addition, Noel is also the Treasurer/ Board member of another Irish Registered Charity.

Derval McDonagh

Derval is a senior leader in the not-for-profit sector with over 20 years’ experience. Derval has held many varied roles in her career including Chief Operations officer at Cope Foundation in Cork and now CEO of Inclusion Ireland. She has a Masters in Leadership. Derval has been appointed to the Disability Stakeholders group by Minister Rabbitte and to the Regional health Advisory Group by Minister Donnelly.

Luke Staines

Luke Staines has been working with Michael Staines Co as a Solicitor in the District Court in the Criminal Courts of Justice and Blanchardstown District Court since December 2017. Luke has experience working in the District Court, the Circuit Court, the High Court and the Supreme Court. He has dealt with many cases relating to prison conditions in Ireland and also other jurisdictions including Romania, Poland, Germany, the UK and the United States.

Miranda Trouabal

Miranda is a teacher at the Pathways Centre, a CDETB training and education centre aimed at respite and reintegration for former prisoners in the crucial period after release. She holds a degree in Business and Psychology from Dublin Business School and a Postgraduate Diploma in Adult Education from Maynooth University. Miranda was also involved in the College Connect community needs analysis and the Maynooth University/Mountjoy Partnership. 

Our work is supported by

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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