Our background

Safeguarding Ireland was established to promote safeguarding of adults who may be vulnerable, protect them from all forms of abuse by persons, organisations and institutions and develop a national plan for promoting their welfare. This will be achieved by promoting inter-sectoral collaboration, developing public and professional awareness and education, and undertaking research to inform policy, practice and legislation in the Republic of Ireland.

Adult safeguarding issues in Ireland

Sadly, examples of adult safeguarding issues occur in Ireland on a daily basis. Some are the subject of close media scrutiny, others occur in the privacy of a person’s own home or within one of Ireland’s health and social care services. Abuse against those who are vulnerable can be perpetrated by a range of people, from strangers to a family member.

 In a Red C Poll commissioned by Safeguarding Ireland, half of the respondents reported that a vulnerable adult close to them had experienced abuse. This should not be acceptable in any society and certainly not in a developed democracy such as Ireland.

Our vision and strategic plan

In December 2017, Safeguarding Ireland published its first Strategic Plan which spans a five‐year period until the end of 2021. The Strategic Plan sets out our core objectives which are:

  • to raise public understanding of attitudes, behaviours, circumstances and systems that create vulnerability that may result in abuse, and that may require a safeguarding response
  • to promote the protection and rights of people who may be vulnerable, by encouraging organisations and services to recognise, prevent and deal with exploitation and abuse effectively
  • to inform and influence Government policy and legislation to safeguard the rights of people who may be vulnerable to optimise its collective capacity and available external resources to achieve its aims and objectives.


Annual Reports

Financial Statements

Memorandum of Association

Patricia Rickard Clarke

Independent Chairperson

Safeguarding Ireland has now been established (through a company limited by guarantee – National Safeguarding Ireland), with the support of its main funder the HSE, to provide a strong governance base and oversight structure for all future inter-sectoral work relating to safeguarding of vulnerable adults pending the envisaged introduction of adult safeguarding legislation by 2025.  It also has responsibility for developing a new Strategic Plan to build on the Strategic Plan first developed through the loosely based National Safeguarding Committee (2015-2019).

Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20204851.

Safeguarding Ireland Board Members

  • Ms. Patricia Rickard-Clarke – Chair

  •  Mr. David Byrne Former Attorney General and former European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection
  • Mr. Colm Nolan Society of Financial Planners Ireland
  • Ms. Annmarie O’Connor – Business Manager, Money and Budgeting Service (MABS)
  • Ms. Louise O’Mahony – Head of Mortgage Policy, Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI)
  • Ms. Nora Owen Former Minister for Justice
  • Professor Amanda Phelan Professor in Trinity College Dublin
  • Mr. Phelim Quinn CEO Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)
  • Mr. Mervyn Taylor Former Executive Director of SAGE Advocacy


  • General Manager of HSE National Safeguarding Office
  • HSE Principal Social Worker representing Safeguarding and Protection Teams
  • Safeguarding Ireland, Programme Manager
  • Cavanagh Communications (Public Awareness)

Organisations represented on the

National Safeguarding Advisory Committee.

  • Active Retirement Ireland
  • Age Action
  • Age Friendly Ireland
  • An Garda Síochána
  • An Post
  • Cavanagh Communications
  • Church of Ireland
  • Decision Support Service
  • Department of Social Protection
  • Disability Federation of Ireland
  • Disability Rights Network
  • Faculty of Old Age Psychiatrists
  • Health Information and Quality Authority
  • Health Service Executive
  • Inclusion Ireland
  • Irish Association of Social Workers
  • Irish Banking Culture Board
  • Irish College of Medical Practitioners
  • Irish Congress of Trade Unions
  • Irish Farmers Association
  • Irish Hospice Foundation
  • Irish League of Credit Unions
  • Irish Rural Link
  • Law Society of Ireland
  • Mental Health Commission
  • Money Advice and Budgeting Service
  • National Advocacy Service
  • National Disability Services Association
  • National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers
  • National Independent Review Panel
  • Safeguarding Ireland Board Members
  • SAGE Advocacy
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul.



Safeguarding Ireland does not deal with specific cases of abuse, or alleged abuse.

For detailed information about Reporting Abuse, please go to our dedicated page which includes comprehensive guidance on suggested contacts. General queries to info@safeguardingireland.org

Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20204851.