Appointments to the Boards of the Medical Bureau of Road Safety

2nd April, 2015

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe T.D., has today (Thursday) announced a number of appointments and re-appointments to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS). The selection process for these appointments was undertaken in accordance with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards.


The MBRS is responsible for the analysis of blood and urine samples and the issuing of certificates indicating the level of alcohol, or the presence of drugs, in the samples in relation to cases of drink or drug driving.  The Bureau issues certificates in respect of the results of these analyses, which may be used in prosecutions for such offences. The specialist nature of the functions undertaken by the Bureau requires that the Board should comprise members who contribute and have expert knowledge of the work undertaken.


Following a request for nominations from the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) and the Bar Council of Ireland, the Minister approved the appointment of

  • Dr Declan Bedford; and
  • Mr Paul Burns, Senior Counsel

to the Board of the MBRS for a term of three years.


Speaking today, Minister Donohoe said: ‘Today’s appointments have been made under the new Guidelines for appointments to State Boards, and will ensure that the Bureau maintains its high standing at all times in order to continue to make its significant contribution to the fight against drink and drug driving in the context of improving road safety in Ireland. I am confident that the Board is equipped with the right mix of skills and experience to ensure the continuation of the important work of the MBRS’.


Professor Cecily Kelleher, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, University College Dublin, has been re-appointed as Board member and Chair of the MBRS for a further two years.


Ms Nicola Hayes, Assistant Principal Officer in the Road Safety Division of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has been re-appointed as the Department’s representative for a further four years.


Professor Denis Cusack, as Director of the MBRS serves as the fifth member of the Board. Professor Cusack was re-appointed as Director in 2012 for a five year term.


The appointments were approved by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) in line with the new guidelines on appointments to State boards.



Additional Information for Editor

Bios for new appointees

Dr Declan Bedford has been nominated by the Irish Medical Organisation. He is a specialist in Public Health Medicine with particular interest in alcohol and road safety. A medical graduate of University College Dublin, he worked as a specialist in Public Health Medicine with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and acted as Director of Public Health in the North East for seven years until his retirement from the HSE in August 2012.  He is currently Chairman of the Health Research Board and works part-time with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland as Health Systems Research and Policy Advisor for their Hospital Group. He is a Board Member of Alcohol Action Ireland. He has been a member on a number of Government Policy Groups, most recently the National Substance Misuse Strategy Group.  He was also a Board Member at the Drug Treatment Centre Board and the North Eastern Health Board. His published research covers a wide range of public health topics, including suicide and mental health, alcohol, men’s health, injury prevention, infectious diseases, health services and use of hospital services.  He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, and a former Board member of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine. Dr Bedford is also a past President of the Irish Medical Organisation.


Mr Paul Burns, SC has been nominated by the Bar Council of Ireland. He has 29 years’ experience in legal practice, in both civil and criminal law, including prosecution and defence work. He also has extensive knowledge of road traffic law.  His clients include the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Commissioner of An Garda Siochana, Dublin City Council, insurers, large retailers and numerous individuals. He is also a qualified mediator through Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) assisting parties to resolve disputes outside of the Court process.


Fees payable to Chairpersons and Members of State Bodies

The MBRS fall under Category 4 for fees payable to Chairpersons and members of non-commercial State Bodies with effect from 1 January 2010. The rates payable are €8,978 for the Chair, and €5,985 for a member. Under the One Person One Salary (OPOS) Principle, it is a requirement that public servants who sit on State Boards in an ex officio capacity or on behalf of their parent Department should not be paid remuneration in the form of board fees. Therefore, the Director and the Department’s nomination do not receive payment for serving on the MBRS Board.


MBRS Board as at 1 April 2015

Professor Cecily Kelleher, Chairperson

Professor Denis Cusack, Director

Ms Nicola Hayes, Asst. PO. DTTAS

Dr Declan Bedford, Medical Doctor

Mr Paul Burns, Senior Counsel