Leon Farrell/
Chief citizen

Former head of the HSE Paul Reid has been appointed to lead the Citizens' Assembly on Drugs

Reid was head of the HSE until last year.

FORMER HSE CHIEF Paul Reid has been appointed as the independent chair of the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs.

The Citizens’ Assembly, which was agreed within the Programme for Government, is due to consider harm reduction measures that the State could take to reduce the impact of drugs on individuals, families and communities.

Reid’s appointment as chair of the assembly was confirmed by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today. He stepped down from his position as CEO of the HSE after three years last September.

“Paul has vast leadership experience and a successful track record as CEO of the Health Services Executive and Fingal County Council,” Varadkar said in a statement today.

“I am confident he will be an excellent choice as Chairperson of the Citizens’ Assembly on drugs use.”

Reid himself said that problems associated with drugs affect everyone in Ireland, either directly or indirectly, but that previous Citizens’ Assemblies have shown that complex social problems can be tackled.

“I expect that the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use will be no different,” he said, adding that he looked forward to his work in the months ahead.

A campaign to select the other 99 members of the assembly from the general public will begin this week, when 20,000 households from across the country will receive letters inviting one person from the household to join.

The assembly is due to begin its work on 14 April and is expected to conclude before the end of the year.

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