Professor Catherine Comiskey, graduate of Trinity College and Professor in Healthcare Modelling at the School of Nursing and Midwifery has been appointed by Minister Catherine Byrne within the Department of Health to the role of sole academic expert to the National Oversight Committee responsible for the implementation of ‘Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery – a health led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025’.
The Taoiseach launched the new national drug strategy and established a National Oversight Committee to provide leadership and direction for the strategy. The committee will be chaired by Minister Byrne and it will provide prioritisation and mobilisation of resources to implement the strategy. The committee will measure performance in order to strengthen the delivery of drugs initiatives and improve the impact on the drug problem. It will also oversee the monitoring of the drug situation and a programme of prioritised research to address gaps in knowledge and ensure the lessons drawn from evidence and good practice inform future developments.
Professor Comiskey, who was also recently elected as Vice Chair of the Scientific Committee of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and as former Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol, has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this field. Comiskey has, over the past twenty years, been actively involved in addiction research that aims to make a difference to the lives of people who use drugs, the lives of their families and their communities.
In accepting Minister Byrne’s invitation she said she was delighted to be able to bring her academic and research experience to the committee. She also said that she looked forward to working with the Minister and her team to ensure the implementation of this health led approach to the use of drugs and alcohol across Ireland.