‘To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?’

Feb 14 2013 Posted: 10:59 GMT

Dr Maurice Hayes for Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture at NUI Galway

The 2013 Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture, entitled “To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?” will be delivered by former public servant (north and south) and former Senator and political analyst Maurice Hayes.

The event will take place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on Monday, 25 February at 8.00pm and booking is essential.

A native of County Down, Maurice Hayes is a graduate in Literature and in Law of Queen’s University Belfast.  He has spent most of his life working in the public service in Northern Ireland, variously as Town Clerk; as Head of Human Resources, Northern Ireland Civil Service; Permanent Secretary, Department of Health and Social Services; and Northern Ireland Ombudsman. He was first Chairman of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission and a member of the Human Rights Commission. He has acted as Electoral Boundary Commissioner, as Senior Advisor to the Chair of the Constitutional Convention, and chaired a review of acute hospital services in Northern Ireland.

He served for ten years as a member of Seanad Éireann, and chaired the National Forum on Europe. A Member of the Royal Irish Academy, he holds honorary doctorates from the National University of Ireland, TCD, QUB, and the University of Ulster.

He was a member of the Patten Commission and authored the report which led to the establishment of the Office of Police Ombudsman.  He has also advised and produced reports on management issues in An Garda Síochána, Tallaght Hospital and RTÉ.  He chairs the Irish Language Broadcast Fund (NI).

He has published three books of memoirs Sweet Killough let go your anchor, Black Puddings with slimand Minority Verdict as well as numerous articles and papers on conflict resolution and other aspects of social policy. He is a regular political columnist and book reviewer in the Irish Independent and the Belfast Telegraph.

He is married with five children. In his younger days he was an interprovincial hurler. For several years he was  secretary of the County Down board of the GAA and set out a ten year plan that saw Down win the All-Ireland football trophy for the first time in 1960 and go on to win the title a further four times.

According to NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne: “The Monsignor Pádraig De Brún lecture honours a former University President who was a renowned polymath with keen interest in the arts, the sciences and the culture of his day.  This year’s De Brún memorial lecture is both timely and relevant.  It will be of great interest to all those interested in the future of the Irish public service at a time of great turmoil in the public sector.  We are delighted to welcome the very distinguished public servant, Maurice Hayes to give this year’s Dr Brún lecture and I look forward to his insights into this important matter of public discourse. 

Speaking in advance of the lecture, Dr Maurice Hayes said: “The first and main challenge for the public service is to regain public respect, to recover the public trust which has been lost, and to restore the parallel loss of morale which has been shattered by mindless criticism on the one hand and blind self-interest on the other.  The next is to re-structure and re-equip to meet the needs of a changing society, and then to find the people who can deliver on both objectives at a price the nation can afford.”

The public lecture takes place at 8pm on Monday, 25 February and while admission is free registration is required via www.conference.ie


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