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Liz O'Donnell pictured with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin Mark Stedman/Photocall
Road Safety

Meet Gay Byrne's replacement as chair of the Road Safety Authority

The former deputy leader of the Progressive Democrats will hold the position for five years.

THE ROAD SAFETY Authority (RSA) has announced Liz O’Donnell as successor to Gay Byrne as Chairperson of the organisation.

The announcement was made today by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe.

O’Donnell is set to hold the position for a period of five years. She will be required to appear before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications before she is finalised in the role.

Speaking today about the appointment, Minister Donohoe described his satisfaction at appointing the former deputy leader of the Progressive Democrats.

“I am delighted to propose Ms. Liz O’Donnell as Chairperson of the RSA and am happy that she has agreed to take on this important role and to work with us to improve road safety,” said Donohoe.

It is thought the appointment will be well received for its political neutrality – with O’Donnell having no links to either party of Government.

Political career 

As a politician, O’Donnell was first elected to the Dáil in 1992 as a TD for Dublin South. She held the position for 15 years until 2007.

She served as Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs for five years from 1997 to 2002.

In her role, she held special responsibility for Overseas Development Assistance and Human Rights – which saw her play a role in multi-party talks at Stormont which led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

She has recently worked as an opinion columnist for The Irish Independent.


Veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne was three years into his second five-year term as chairman when he decided to step down last month.

Byrne felt that the fact he had recently turned 80 was a good reason to retire from the role.

Read: Here’s how many people gardaí caught speeding this morning

Also: Consultation to give vintage cars roadworthiness test launched

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