The Office of the Information Commissioner is the appeals body for Freedom of Information in Ireland. Our job is to review decisions which public bodies make on freedom of information requests. We are based at Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin.
In addition to the Information Commissioner and the Director General, we have a team of staff which is led by two Senior Investigators, Stephen Rafferty and Deirdre Gallagher. Further support comes from the shared services provided by the Office of the Ombudsman (for example, human resource management and information and communications technology support).
Ger Deering was appointed Ombudsman and Information Commissioner for Ireland by President Michael D. Higgins in January 2022.
Ger has established and led a number of public bodies and has considerable experience in consumer and employment rights.
He was appointed Financial Services Ombudsman in 2015 and Pensions Ombudsman in 2016. He became the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman when both offices were merged in 2018. In this role he led a significant change programme that resulted in many more complaints against financial service providers being resolved through mediation.
Ger was the first Commissioner for Taxi Regulation, where he introduced a range of reforms to the industry. He was the founding Director of the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA) where he promoted compliance with employment rights and secured redress for employees who were denied their minimum statutory entitlements.
Ger played a key role in leading the Workplace Relations Reform Programme which created a two-tier user-oriented national workplace relations service that replaced the former five bodies.
He has extensive experience working across local government, community development, the civil service and the private sector.
Elaine Cassidy worked in the multinational IT sector for 15 years in an international management role, before joining the public service in 2008, as Head of Equal Status and Head of Mediation at the Equality Tribunal.
Following this, Elaine joined the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Employment to oversee the enactment and commencement of the Companies Act 2014 and related statutory instruments. She then became Deputy Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman at the FSPO, which is part of the consumer protection framework in Ireland.
Elaine holds a Master’s in Public Policy from UCD, completed the Law Society FE1 Exams and is a qualified Adjudicator, a certified Mediator and a member of the Mediators Institute of Ireland. She also holds an LLB in Law from DIT and a BA in International Marketing and Languages from DCU.