To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?

Maurice Hayes, a former senior public servant, is giving the university’s annual de Brún lecture in the Aula Maxima on the topic “To Hell or to Croker: Whither the Irish Public Service?” on Mon 25 February at 8pm.

A native of County Down, Maurice Hayes has had a long career in public service on both sides of the border. In the Northern Ireland Civil Service he was head of Human Resources; Permanent Secretary, Department of Health and Social Services; and Northern Ireland Ombudsman. He also served for ten years as a member of Seanad Éireann, and chaired the Irish National Forum on Europe. He has also advised and produced reports on management issues in An Garda Síochána, Tallaght Hospital and RTÉ. He chairs the Irish Language Broadcast Fund (NI). He was a member of the Patten Commission on policing and authored the report which led to the establishment of the Office of Police Ombudsman in the North.

He was first Chairman of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Commission and a member of the Human Rights Commission. He has acted as Electoral Boundary Commissioner, as Senior Advisor to the Chair of the Constitutional Convention, and chaired a review of acute hospital services in Northern Ireland.

He has published three books of memoirs: Sweet Killough let go your anchor, Black Puddings with Slim and Minority Verdict as well as numerous articles and papers on conflict resolution and other aspects of social policy. He is a regular political columnist and book reviewer in the Irish Independent and the Belfast Telegraph.

In his younger days he was an interprovincial hurler. For several years he was secretary of the County Down board of the GAA and set out a ten year plan that saw Down win the All-Ireland football trophy for the first time in 1960 and go on to win the title a further four times.

The public lecture takes place at 8pm on Monday, 25 February and while admission is free registration is required via


About niallodoc

Senior Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland Galway
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