Our Board

The Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act, 2012 sets out the role and functions of the Board as well as its composition, selection and length of term of Board members.

Members are not paid for being on the Board.

You can view all Board minutes here

Role and functions

The Board is responsible for ensuring that Caranua (RISF) is successful in improving the quality of life of former residents and implementing other functions as set out in the legislation.

While the Board sets the scope of the assistance to be provided including criteria, the executive will be responsible for assessing and making decisions on applications.


There are nine members, including an independent Chair, all of whom are appointed by the Minister. Four members are former residents. The remainder are selected for relevant skills and experience in areas of relevance to RISF including financial management and service delivery.


Board members are selected by the Minister following a public recruitment process managed by the Public Appointments Service, the body responsible for managing recruitment to the civil and public service in Ireland.

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., announced appointments to the Board of Caranua (the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund) for 2017 – 2021 on the 29th May 2017.

Caranua is a Statutory Body with the structure and functions set out in the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012, with a 9 member Board which must include four former residents.

The Board of Caranua oversees the use of the cash contributions of up to €110 million pledged by the religious congregations to support the needs of some 15,000 survivors of residential institutional child abuse.  These survivors have received awards from the Residential Institutions Redress Board or equivalent court awards.

The Board members are appointed for a four year term of office, commencing on 24 May, 2017.  The positions are not remunerated.

The Minister welcomed the appointments and wished all members well in the in their important and challenging role.

Term of office

A Board member can serve on the Board for four years. After this time he or she must stand down but can be put forward for another term.

Board Members

Mr. David O’Callaghan, Chair

David took up his position as Chair of Caranua in February 2014 following his appointment by the Minister for Education and Skills and subsequent approval by the Joint Oireachtas committee on Education and Social Protection.  A former Secretary General of the Department of Defence, David is a highly experienced senior manager.  He has chaired a number of public sector Boards including the Integrated Ticketing Project and the Education Sector Implementation Group Croke Park Agreement.  He also chairs the Irish Red Cross Society and the Management Board of the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management.  David was re-appointed as Chair of Caranua by the Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Richard Bruton T.D., on 16th March 2017.  You can email the Chairperson directly at chairperson@caranua.ie

Ms. Patricia Carey

Patricia is the Chief Executive of the Adoption Authority of Ireland since August 2014. She has a range of previous experience in the not-for-profit and educational sectors, having worked as Director of Services for the Society of St Vincent de Paul, covering all services in Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare, and in the Department of Education and various voluntary agencies. She holds a Bachelor of Theology and Arts and Higher Diploma in Education from NUI Maynooth, a management qualification for the voluntary sector from National College of Ireland, a Graduate Diploma in Equality Studies from UCD and, most recently, a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership from the Irish Management Institute. Patricia is passionate about equality and advocacy, previously holding the position of voluntary Chairperson of Connect Counselling Service for Survivors of Institutional Abuse and roles as Chairperson of a community policing forum and as Advisor on Strategy and Governance to ADVIC – Advocates for Victims of Homicide Ireland.

Mr. Damian Casey FCMA

Damian is currently Head of Finance, Health Business Services (HBS) which is the business division of the HSE.  Damian joined the health services from the private sector having worked for Hitachi Europe, Dell & America Online (AOL) previously.

Mr. Thomas Daly

Former teacher and Adult Education Officer and Education Officer with City of Cork VEC.

Ms. Katherine Finn BL

Katherine qualified as a solicitor in 1996 and practised as such for 11 years, 5 in general practice and 6 in criminal prosecution at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. She was called to the Bar of Ireland in 2007 and has practised ever since in criminal defence, chancery and general civil law. She was also called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2013.  She has lectured in law at the Law Society of Ireland, the National College of Ireland, the Communications and Management Institute, and the Emerald Institute. She has diplomas in criminology and art history and a professional certificate in compliance. She is trained as an adult literacy tutor and has carried out volunteer work with FLAC, NALA and the Robert Emmet after-school club. She served as a board member of Caranua from 2013 to 2017 at which point she was reappointed.

Mrs. Frances Harrington

Frances was first appointed as a member of the Board of Caranua by the Minister of Education and Skills in January 2014. She has over 20 years’ experience providing administration support in a facilities management business. A former resident of an industrial school she also worked for a number of years as a residential child-care worker. Frances has also worked on local voluntary committees and was involved in setting up and managing the community playschool in her local area. She holds a diploma in arts in local and community studies and an honours degree in community studies. Frances was reappointed to the board of Caranua by the minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D. on 24th May 2017.

Mr. Francis W. Treanor BL

Biography to follow