Launch of the Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs and its Advisory Board by Dr Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare

13 Jun 2005


13 JUNE 2005




The following is the text of Archbishop Sean Brady’s address and commissioning
prayer at the launch of the Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs,
at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare, today, Monday 13th June 2005.

Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Irish Episcopal Conference I would like
to welcome you all to this launch of the newly constituted Irish Commission for
Justice and Social Affairs and its Advisory Board. I extend a particular welcome
to representatives of other ecclesial, voluntary and semi-state organisations
working in the field of social justice, to representatives of other Churches
and faith communities, to the media and to those from the world of business,
politics and academia. I am conscious that some of you have travelled quite
a distance to be here. We are very grateful for your presence. Indeed, it is
our hope that the newly formed Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs
will provide the Bishops’ Conference with a mechanism for more frequent and
ongoing engagement with the various interests and agencies which are
represented here today.

The Catholic Church in Ireland has a very proud record of involvement in the
field of social concern. The work of organisations such as St. Vincent de Paul,
the Legion of Mary, the various agencies and Commissions of the Bishops’
Conference, CORI and the host of parish and Diocesan based groups and agencies
around the country, provide a unique and very practical expression of the
Church’s commitment to the social, political and pastoral consequences of
the Gospel. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the untiring and
selfless sea of people, of all ages and backgrounds, who support this work.
Without their generosity and commitment, a central part of the evangelising
mission of the Church would be lost and the culture of care in Irish society
greatly diminished.

I would also like to convey the appreciation of the Bishops’ Conference to
those who, over many years, did so much to establish the voice of the Church
in the area of justice, human rights and social welfare through the Irish
Commission for Justice and Peace and the Council for Social Welfare. As part
of the restructuring of the work of the Bishops’ Conference into five departments,
these two Commissions have now been combined into the Irish Commission for
Justice and Social Affairs, made up of five Episcopal members, and it’s
Advisory Board.

In formally launching the new Commission, I would like to extend the gratitude,
encouragement and wholehearted support of the Episcopal Conference to the
Chairman, Bishop Raymond Field, to Paula Dowd, who will act as researcher
and administrator, to Fr. Timothy Bartlett, who will act as Secretary, and
to all of the members of the Advisory Board; to Mr David Begg, Prof. William
Binchy, Ms. Deirdre Carroll, Prof. Patricia Casey, Fr. Eoin Cassidy, Mrs Ann
Gibson, Mr Justin Kilcullen, Prof. Raymond Kinsella, Mr Martin Long, Prof.
Patrick Murphy, Sr Maureen O’Connell, Sr. Joan Roddy, Prof. Eda Sagarra and
Ms. Sylvia Thompson. Together you represent an exceptionally wide range of
experience and expertise and as Bishops we look forward to working in communion
with you in building up what the Compendium  describes as the ‘Civilisation
of love’, a theme which you yourselves have chosen as the central part of
your mission statement.

Let us pray.

God our Father,

guide and inspire the work of the Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs,
which we commission today in your name.
Help us to work without ceasing
for that justice
which brings true and lasting peace,
for that kingdom,
which brings true and lasting hope,
for that civilisation’
which reveals your true and lasting love.

We ask this, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Further information:
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)

* The Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs (ICJSA) is a
Commission of the Irish Bishops’ Conference.

* The ICJSA is chaired by Bishop Raymond Field and its role is to support
the Bishops’ Conference in promoting the social teaching of the Church and
advising on issues of social concern both nationally and internationally.

* Biopic on the Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs follow:
Episcopal Members:
Chair of ICES
Most Rev. Raymond Field.
Chair of ICES
Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin,

Most Rev Diarmuid Martin,
Archbishop of Dublin


Most Rev. Colm O’Reilly.
Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois.

Most Rev. John Kirby,
Bishop of Clonfert

Most Rev. Gerard Clifford,
Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Armagh


Mr. Justin Kilcullen.
Co. Kildare.
Director of Trocaire.


Ms. Deirdre Carroll.


Mr. David Begg.
General Secretary I.C.T.U.

Rev. Dr. Eoin G. Cassidy.
Lecturer in Theology, Mater Dei Institute, Dublin

Prof. William Binchy.
Regius Professor of Law, T.C.D.
Member of the Irish Human Rights Commission.

Prof. Patricia Casey.
Dept. of Psychiatry,
Mater Hospital


Sr. Joan Roddy.
Director of the Refugee Project of the Irish Bishops’ Conference

Prof. Patrick Murphy.
Co. Down.
30 year career in education.

Currently adviser on political, social and economic policy to public,
private and voluntary sectors on both parts of Ireland.

Fr Timothy Bartlett.
Secretary of the ICJSA
Works for the Irish Bishops’ Conference in the area of Public Affairs,
Planning & Communication.

Mrs. Anne Gibson.
Co. Fermanagh,
Member of B.B.C. Broadcasting Council.
Non-Executive member Director of Sperrin Lakeland Trust.


Sr. Maureen O’Connell.
Presentation Sister.
Coordinator of Presentation Justice Network.


Prof. Ray Kinsella.
Faculty member of Smurfit Business School and Management Institute of Paris.
Visiting professor at Institute of European Affairs.
Formerly Economist in Central Bank and Advisor at Dept. of Enterprise,
Trade & Employment.

Ms. Sylvia Thompson.
Chairperson of Kerry Diocesan Justice, Peace & Creation Committee.


Prof. Eda Sagarra.
Dept. of Germanic Studies,
Trinity College,
Professor of German at Trinity and currently pro-Chancellor.


Ms. Paula Dowd.
HEO & Researcher for ICJSA
B.A. Phil, B.TH.(Hons.)
Medical Coordinator Intercountry Adoption Services (R.G.N.).
Regional Co-Director Focolare Movement.


Mr. Martin Long.
Director of Communicaitons,
Irish Bishops’ Conference.