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New CEO, Mental Health Commission

John Farrelly
John Farrelly

Mr John Farrelly has been appointed as Chief Executive of the Mental Health Commission and takes up the post on October 30 next.

Mr Farrelly has been CEO of the Charities’ Regulator since 2016 and prior to that served as HIQA’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Social Services. He has 30 years experience in health and social care services.

In both these previous roles he was responsible for the strategic development and execution of a full programme of regulation to enhance quality, safety, trust and confidence.

John Saunders, chair of the Mental Health Commission said, “We are delighted to have someone with John’s experience and commitment to take up this position. Ireland’s mental health services still have a considerable journey to make in order to attain the standards required. John’s proven expertise in risk-based regulation, quality and safety and person orientated public services will be an enormous asset as we work to safeguard the rights of service users.”

Said John Farrelly: “The Commission can play a central role in the ongoing transformation of mental health services and I want to ensure that we do that. I look forward to working with the chairman, members and staff of the Commission to ensure the provision of good quality mental health care. Through the Decision Support Service the Commission will provide the appropriate supports for adults who have difficulty in making decisions. These services must be rights based, safe and compliant with the law.

“I look forward to establishing relationships with service providers, service users and professional/clinical staff to ensure this becomes a reality in all mental health and decision support services provided in Ireland.”
The Chairperson of the Charities Regulatory Authority, Mr Patrick Hopkins said, “John made a very significant contribution to the development of the Charities Regulator over the past three years.” “The Charities Regulator was still at an early stage of development when he joined and, under his leadership, he helped put the organisation on a sound footing.”

John Farrelly is a graduate of The Royal College of Surgeons, Smurfit Business School, UCD, the Honourable Society of King’s Inns and the Harvard Kennedy school of Government. He has worked with mental health service users and professionals in hospitals and community settings. Previously he has worked as Director of Counselling with Accord, Irelands largest Counselling & Family support organisation, and prior to that as Counselling Services Manager with Shine, which advocates and provides services to enhance outcomes for people with schizophrenia and severe mental illness and their families.