Reappointment of the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland

Date published: 07 May 2020

First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill today announced the reappointment of the current Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Mr Eddie Lynch, for a further four-year term.

News - OFMDFM

The first four-year term of office commenced in June 2016. Eddie Lynch will be reappointed for a second term of four years effective from 13 June 2020.

Eddie Lynch continues to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the job; he has published reports and provided guidance and recommendations on a wide range of issues including financial abuse, scams, criminal justice and care homes.

This reappointment has been made in accordance with the CPA NI Code of Practice.

Notes to editors: 

1. The principal aim of the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland is to promote and safeguard the interests of older people.

The Commissioner has a series of duties that he must perform.

These include:

- Promote an awareness of matters relating to the interests of older people and of the need to safeguard those interests;
- Keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of the law and practice relating to the interests of older people;
- Keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of services provided for older people by relevant authorities (a relevant authority is the name given in the Commissioner for Older People Act for organisations that are mainly publicly funded bodies like Government Departments, Councils, Health Trusts and both statutory and private nursing and residential care homes);
- Promote the provision of opportunities for, and the elimination of discrimination against, older people;
- Encourage best practice in the treatment of older people;
- Promote positive attitudes towards older people and encourage participation by older people in public life;
- Advise the Assembly, the Secretary of State, the Executive and a relevant authority on matters concerning the interests of older people;
- Take reasonable steps to make older people aware of the existence and functions of his office and its location;
- Take reasonable steps to encourage older people to communicate with the Commissioner and his staff and to seek the views of older people; and
- Ensure that the Commissioner’s services are available, as far as is practicable, at a place convenient for older people.

2. The Commissioner has a wide range of promotional, advisory, educational, legal and investigatory functions and powers and duties to be deployed in the interests of older people, both generally and individually. The Commissioner has a role in promoting and safeguarding the interests, advancing equality, challenging discrimination and empowering and enabling the voice of older people in Northern Ireland.

3. The reappointment of the Commissioner for Older People takes effect from 13 June 2020. Mr Lynch served his first term of office from June 2016. This appointment is remunerated and attracts a salary of £76,696 (current as of 2018/19). Mr Lynch brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the job having dedicated much of his working life to championing the rights of older people.

4. The reappointment has been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland (CPA NI) Code of Practice.

5. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of the appointees to be published. Mr Lynch has not declared any political activity in the last five years.

6. Biography

Eddie Lynch has been the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland since June 2016.  During this time he has published reports and provided guidance and recommendations on a wide range of issues including financial abuse, scams, criminal justice and care homes. Prior to this, Eddie was the founding Chief Executive of Age Sector Platform, a campaigning organisation for older people across Northern Ireland.  During this time he led several successful campaigns for policy change and in 2010 created the NI Pensioners Parliament, a structure that has enabled older people from across Northern Ireland have their voices heard on key issues that affect them.  Eddie was also previously the Head of Consumer Affairs at the Consumer Council, where he oversaw policy on transport, financial and food issues.  A native of Armagh City. Eddie now lives in Belfast with his wife and two children.

7. Mr Lynch does not hold any other public appointments.

8. For any queries for the Commissioner please contact: Eiméar Cassidy Eimear.Cassidy@COPNI.ORG

9. For media enquiries, contact The Executive Office: press.office@executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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