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And President Higgins's new adviser is...

Drumroll, please.

Liam Herrick
Liam Herrick
Image: IPRT via Facebook

PRESIDENT HIGGINS HAS appointed Liam Herrick, the current executive director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust, as his new adviser.

Herrick, who is 38, has led the IPRT since 2007. The high profile non-governmental organisation campaigns for the rights of people in prison and for reform of Ireland’s penal policy.

Prior to joining the IPRT, Herrick worked at the Council of Europe, as a research and policy officer at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and as a senior researcher at the Irish Human Rights Commission. He has a degree and Masters in law from UCC.

Herrick will take over the position following the departure of former presidential adviser Mary Van Lieshout in November.

There had been speculation that Van Lieshout left following disagreements with other advisers, particularly over access to President Higgins. However in a statement, she said that she departed the Áras on “very amicable terms” in order to pursue other interests.

Herrick is set to take up the post in Áras an Uachtaráin in the middle of February.

His contract will be for a period of three years and a spokesperson for Áras an Uachtaráin said that his salary will correspond to the civil service scale for a Principal Officer.

The IPRT congratulated Herrick on his appointment and wished him every success with it, saying he had made an “immense contribution” to the development of the organisation.

“Liam’s dedication and commitment to penal reform and the rights of people in the penal system will have an endearing legacy, with wider social justice benefits,” a spokesperson said.

Read: ‘I departed the Áras on very amicable terms’ – Former adviser breaks silence >

Read: ‘Our citizens were failed’: President welcomes Priory Hall residents to Áras >

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