President recruits human rights expert as new €75k advisor
President Michael D Higgins has appointed a human rights and penal reform expert as his new advisor.
Liam Herrick, executive director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust, will take up the role in the middle of next month and be in place for three years, Aras an Uactharain confirmed.
He accepted the position following the departure last year of Mr Higgins’s former aide Mary van Lieshout, who left the job after just 18 months. American-born Ms van Lieshout took up a role with aid agency Goal.
Mr Herrick’s position will be principal officer, with a salary scale from €75,647 a year.
The 38-year-old worked at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and the Irish Human Rights Commission before taking up the role at the Irish Penal Reform Trust.
Mr Herrick has also been a member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Government’s strategic review group on penal policy.
The board of the Irish Penal Reform Trust congratulated Mr Herrick on his appointment.
“Since becoming executive director in 2007, Liam has made an immense contribution to the development of IPRT into the organisation it is today, Ireland’s leading advocate of progressive penal reform, known for advancing evidence-based policy solutions, and with a demonstrated positive impact on Irish penal policy,” it said.
“Liam’s dedication and commitment to penal reform and the rights of people in the penal system will have an enduring legacy, with wider social justice benefits.”