Members of the Press Council

The Press Council of Ireland has 13 members. Seven of these, including the Chairman, are drawn from suitably qualified persons representative of a broad spectrum of Irish society. The remaining six members of the Press Council provide senior editorial and journalistic expertise and perspectives reflective of the press industry.

The independent Chair of the Press Council is Mr Rory Montgomery.   The Deputy Chair is Mr James Doorley 

.Independent Members

Rory Montgomery

Rory Montgomery has been Chair of the Press Council since 1 April 2022. He retired from the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2019. During his career he served in a wide range of posts at home and abroad, including as Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the European Union, Ambassador to France, Second Secretary General at  the Department of the Taoiseach and Second Secretary General at the Department of Foreign Affairs.  He was part of the Irish team which negotiated the Good Friday Agreement. He is Honorary Professor of Practice at the George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s University Belfast, and a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Noeline Blackwell

Noeline Blackwell was appointed to the Press Council in May 2024. A solicitor by profession, Noeline is the Online Safety Co-Ordinator with the Children’s Rights Alliance. She has previously served as CEO of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and of the Free Legal Advice Centres, having worked in private practice before that.  She is a member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. She chairs the Independent Patient Safety Council of the Department of Health and the Child Law Project and sits on the board of the Open Doors Initiative. She was appointed an Adjunct Full Professor at UCD School of Law in April 2024.

Alan Dukes

Alan Dukes was appointed to the Press Council in 2022. Alan has served at various times as Ireland's Minister for Finance, Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Justice, Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications, and Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs.  He was leader of Fine Gael and Leader of the Opposition from March, 1987 to November 1990 and a member of the Dáil from 1981 to 2002.  Among his many roles since leaving politics have been those of Director General of the Institute of International and European Affairs, chairman of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation and chair of the AgriVision 2015 group which reported in 2005 on a strategy for the development of agriculture and the food industry.  He is an Officier de la Legion d'onneurand a hold the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland.  He was previously Chief Economist to the Farmers' Association and an advisor in the cabinet of European Commissioner Richard Burke.

James Doorley

James Doorley was appointed to the Press Council in 2022. James is currently Secretary General of the Irish Chamber of Shipping.  He previously served as Deputy Director of the National Youth Council of Ireland for over 16 years.  He is currently a board member of the Residential Tenancies Board and previously served on the boards of other public bodies, such as the Dental Council.  He is a member of the Governing Authority of Maynooth University and a member of the Senate of the National University of Ireland.  He is also active at board level with a number of charities and currently serves as Chairperson with both North Leinster Money Advice and Budgeting Service and Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce.  He also serves on regulatory committees with the Legal Services Regulatory Authority and the Nursing and Midwifery Board.  James has qualifications in social studies, law and corporate governance.

Sunniva McDonagh

Sunniva McDonagh is a Senior Counsel specialising in administrative law and fundamental rights.   She is chairperson of a Mental Health Tribunal established under the Mental Health Acts 2001 - 2018 and is a former member of  the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.  She was appointed Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission in 2014 and was nominated as an Alternative Member for Ireland to the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union in 2016.  Sunniva was appointed to the Press Council in October 2019.

Edith Geraghty

Edith Geraghty was appointed to the Press Council  in August 2020. Edith has over 30 years’ experience working in the voluntary and community sector. She has served on the Joint Policing Committee, the Public Participation Committee and the Foster Care Committee for Mayo and has been a trustee and chair of the Erris No Name Club.  She is also the independent chair for the Mayo County Childcare Committee. Previous roles include Director of the Western Region Drugs Task Force and National Development Officer for the No Name Club.   Edith's international work has included the Kettering Foundation in Dayton Ohio, and she serves as an international juror for the Innovation in Politics Award. 

Dr. Tim Hinchey

Dr Tim Hinchey was appointd to the Press Council in August 2020.  Tim is a medical doctor in practice in Dublin city. He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and a member of the Irish College of General Practitioners. He worked in a wide variety of medical specialities before qualifying as a GP and has nearly 20 years’ experience in medicine. Tim has worked in both rural and inner-city general practice with diverse patient cohorts. He was awarded the Jessica Laundon Research Medal in 2007. His special interests include sports medicine, minor surgery and men’s health. He is passionate about science communication.  

Industry Members

Duan Stokes

Duan Stokes is the Publishing Director of Hot Press and associated media outlets. The organisation encompasses the eponymous print magazine, and a number of other digital, print, social, video and audio platforms. He has been centrally involved in all of the major media innovations at Hot Press over the past 20 years, beginning with the pioneering editorial development of, which he launched in 2002. He has been a driving force behind the integration of print and online activities in the Hot Press organisation. Duan oversees the Irish Music Month project created by Hot Press, in conjunction with the IBI, and funded by the BAI (now Coimisiún na Meán), with additional support from commercial partners. Irish Music Month saw 25 independent Irish radio stations collaborate with Hot Press in supporting indigenous Irish Music as well as being production lead on numerous editorially and culturally driven projects. Previously honorary chairperson of Magazines Ireland, Duan has also represented Irish Magazines on a number of industry bodies, including the JNRS and ABC Ireland.

Siobhán Cronin

Siobhán Cronin was appointed editor of The Southern Star on International Women’s Day on March 8th, 2021, the first female editor in the West Cork newspaper’s 132-year history.  Siobhán was educated at TU Dublin (formerly the College of Commerce Rathmines, and DIT).  She holds a BA (hons) in Journalism and is a former deputy features editor of the Irish Examiner.  She has held various senior roles in both national and regional newspapers since leaving Rathmines in 1988, including various roles with the Irish Independent, (business production editor, page editor – news, and sub-editor in the features department). Other roles she has held during her career include news editor of the Longford News, deputy editor of the Leitrim Observer and editor of In Dublin magazine. She joined The Southern Star as news editor in 2014 and was named Feature Writer of the Year at the National Lottery Local Ireland Media Awards in 2019 for articles on the Whiddy Oil Tanker Disaster of 1979.

Samantha McCaughren

 Samantha McCaughren has been business editor of the Sunday Independent since September 2016, responsible for driving the business coverage of Ireland’s biggest selling newspaper. An award-winning journalist, she was a business correspondent and columnist with the Sunday Times for several years . Prior to that she was chief business correspondent with The Sunday Business Post. Previous roles include media editor and  acting deputy business editor with the Irish Independent. Samantha is a regular contributor to both radio and television programmes and presenter of Independent News and Media’s Women in Business podcast. She holds a Masters in Journalism from DCU and an honours degree in English and sociology from Trinity College. 

Roddy O'Sullivan 

Roddy O’Sullivan is Duty Editor at The Irish Times. He started at the newspaper as a general news reporter and went on to work in various editing roles, including News Editor and Night Editor. A graduate of DCU’s MA in Journalism, his first jobs in journalism were at UCD where he edited the College Tribune and University Observer. He was appointed to the Press Council in 2023.

Conor O'Donnell 

Conor O’Donnell is Group Editor of Mail Newspapers Ireland. He was editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday for seven years before being appointed to his current role in 2019. In his 14 years with DMG Media Ireland, he has held the position of night editor and deputy editor of the Irish Daily Mail. Conor started his career in the The Kerryman newspaper, before joining the Irish Examiner where he worked as night editor during his nine years at the paper. He spent over three years in London working for The Daily Telegraph before moving to Dublin.

Siobhán Holliman 

Siobhán Holliman was appointed Editor of the Tuam Herald in 2024, having served as Deputy Editor of the newspaper since 2013. She is an experienced journalist who has been working in the industry since the mid-1990s, initially in broadcasting, where she worked in Mid-West Radio.  She then spent five years at Galway Bay FM in the newsroom and in current affairs. For the past 16 years she has worked in The Tuam Herald, one of the oldest independently-owned newspapers in the country, during which time she has won several awards for her work.

Siobhán holds a BA in Media Studies from the University of Ulster at Coleraine and a HD in Applied Communications from NUI Galway. A former lecturer on the Communications course at NUI Galway, Siobhán is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board at NUI Galway. Siobhán has been a member of the NUJ throughout her journalism career and has a long trade union record of involvement at chapel, branch and national level. She is Leas Cathaoirleach of the Irish Executive Council and has a keen interest in professional issues.
Siobhán was appointed to the Press Council in October 2019.