Government approves appointment of Mr Justice Seán Ryan to Disclosures Tribunal


Justice Ryan to take over from Mr Justice Peter Charleton for second module


24 July 2018


The Government has today approved the appointment of Mr Justice Seán Ryan, former President of the Court of Appeal, as a member of the Tribunal of Inquiry into protected disclosures made under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and certain other matters.


The Disclosures Tribunal was established on 17 February 2017, following the passing of resolutions by both Houses of the Oireachtas. The first module of this Tribunal relates to the matters set out in paragraphs [a] to [o] of the Tribunal’s terms of reference. Mr Justice Peter Charleton was appointed as the sole member. At the outset, he indicated that he intended to conclude his involvement with the Tribunal following the submission of his report into the matters covered by terms of reference [a]-[o]. Consequently, provision for this was made in the resolutions made by both Houses and the instrument establishing the Tribunal.


Public hearings into matters contained in this first module have now concluded, and it is expected that this report will be completed in the autumn, after which Mr Justice Charleton will return to the Supreme Court. A necessity therefore arises to appoint an additional member of the Tribunal to carry out the second module of the Tribunal, relating to term of reference [p], which concerns any other complaints by a member of An Garda Síochána who made a protected disclosure prior to 16 February 2017, and who feels that they were targeted or discredited as a result. It is intended that this module will be conducted by Mr Justice Ryan.


In March of this year, Mr Justice Ryan retired as President of the Court of Appeal, a position he held since its establishment in 2014. Prior to that, he was a Judge of the High Court. He also served as Chair of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, which reported in 2009.


Speaking following today’s Government meeting, Minister Flanagan said: “I am very grateful to Mr Justice Ryan for agreeing to undertake this role. I believe that as a result of his vast judicial experience, he is very well qualified for this position and will ensure the continued effective running of the Tribunal. While Mr Justice Peter Charleton will not complete his work until the autumn, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank him for his sterling work since the establishment of the Tribunal and I look forward to his final report into these very important matters.”


Today’s decision paves the way for appropriate resolutions to be taken in Dáil and Seanad Éireann when the Oireachtas resumes in the autumn. Thereafter, the Minister for Justice and Equality proposes to amend the Instrument establishing the Tribunal to give effect to this appointment.




Details of the Tribunal including its Terms of Reference are available at its website,