Professor Mary Cannon appointed to advisory group for Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use

  • General news
Mary Cannon

Professor Mary Cannon, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Youth Mental Health at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, has been appointed to the Advisory Support Group to the Citizen’s Assembly on Drugs Use.

The full list of members of the Group was announced this week by Mr Paul Reid, Chairperson of the Assembly, with the first meeting of the Assembly scheduled to take place in late April.

Professor Cannon, who also works a consultant psychiatrist at Beaumont Hospital, will bring to the group extensive experience and an established global reputation in psychiatry, particularly in the area of young people’s mental health.

The role of the Advisory Support Group is to support the Chair in developing a fair, balanced and comprehensive work programme, in line with the Assembly’s Terms of Reference. Members of the Group will offer suggestions and feedback on the design of a draft programme, and identify options for specialists, experts, stakeholder groups and others to appear before the Assembly. The Chair and members of the Assembly will determine the final work programme.

Where possible, members of the Advisory Support Group will attend the meetings of the Citizens’ Assembly. Their role at those meetings will be:

  • To observe proceedings and reflect on how the material being presented is received by members.
  • To consider how best to incorporate feedback from roundtable discussions and post-meeting evaluations into programme design for subsequent meetings.
  • Where appropriate, to provide clarification on questions from the members, with answers being provided either in plenary session or in documentation.
  • Where appropriate, to present to the Citizens’ Assembly in plenary session.

Welcoming the establishment of the Group, Mr Reid commented: “I am pleased to have such an experienced and diverse group of people to support the important work of the Assembly. The Advisory Support Group has a key role in supporting the Citizens’ Assembly in developing a comprehensive work programme, in line with the Assembly’s Terms of Reference. I am grateful to the members of the group for so generously committing their time to the Assembly, and I look forward to working with them over the coming months.”

Other members of the Advisory Support Group include:

  • Jo-Hanna Ivers, Associate Professor in Addictions, School of Medicine, and Associate Dean of Civic Engagement and Social Innovation, Trinity College Dublin
  • Philly McMahon, advocate for people affected by drugs use
  • Joe O’Neill, Chair of the Western Region Drugs and Alcohol Task Force
  • Ann Ryan, retired judge of the District Court
  • Brian Galvin, Programme Manager for Drug and Alcohol Research, Health Research Board
  • John Garry, Professor of Political Behaviour and lead at The Democracy Unit, Queen’s University Belfast