It's Your Right: Ombudsman Niall Muldoon
The newly appointed Ombudsman for Children in Ireland, Niall Muldoon, talks about the importance of the role of the Ombudsman and how the children and young people involved in choosing him for the job still inspire him everyday.
To learn more about the Ombudsman for Children, and the rights of the child you can visit the It's Your Right Website http://itsyourright.ie/ or download the It's Your Right App on iTunes
0:11- Niall: I always wanted to work with children and I was really excited about the opportunity to work with a very broad range of issues, and to try and make a difference on a national level.
0:23- Niall: My name’s Niall Muldoon, I’m the ombudsman for children and what that means is that I look after the rights of children in Ireland, all the children in Ireland.
0:33- Niall: Having worked in the office I had a real sense of the issues that were coming up. I felt that I could really bring an experience and an energy to the roll so that I could help change the lives of children for the better. I felt that going for the job of ombudsman for children there was an opportunity there to make a real contribution to their lives in a way. I was shocked, and stunned and delighted to be selected.
0:59- Niall: I mean one of the things that I really enjoyed was that there were a lot of the young people involved in the selection of my role. The department of youth affairs brought together a group of young people, I think it was about thirty of them, and asked them what they would like from an ombudsman of children , what sorts of characteristics and attributes they would like. When they got together to brainstorm, that brainstorming was done on a big colourful board, and they all just wrote their own words, key words which they thought would be important for an ombudsman for children to be like. They used words like fairness, respect, integrity, listening.
1:33-Niall- I have that board now in my office so anytime I get stuck in a case , or I am not sure what to do next, I get up and look at it. It must be ten feet by ten feet , it’s fabulous, really colourful , bright. It really brings me back to the centre and allows me to think ; “OK … Despite all the other noise and things that are going on in this case, I got to figure out what this child wants , and do what’s best for this child, what’s fair for this child.”
It inspires me on a daily basis. I think that’s something I really want to be seen for , and I want to make sure this office follows through on their desire and the job description I have been given.
2;10- Niall: I really think I have a lot to live up to, but I am really excited for the opportunity and delighted that they thought I was worthy of the honour. I look forward to trying to pay that back to them