Sage Advocacy has announced that Sarah Lennon has been appointed as
Executive Director and will succeed Mervyn Taylor in leading the organisation
which supports vulnerable adults, older people and healthcare patients.
The chair of Sage Advocacy, Patricia Rickard-Clarke, solicitor and former Law
Reform Commissioner, said the board are delighted to welcome Ms Lennon to
the organisation and lead it through its next critical stage of development which
hopefully will see a statutory based independent advocacy service being
available to support a person to be actively involved in decision-making
processes in all matters that concern him or her.
Ms Lennon has extensive senior management experience in leading not for
profit, advocacy and human rights organisations and has played a key role in
defending and upholding the rights of individuals throughout her career.
Ms Lennon has also been an important voice for people with disabilities through
her work with the Rehab Group, Inclusion Ireland and more recently has also
helped champion the rights of students with the Irish Council for International
Ms Lennon, who will take up the appointment on September 1, 2020, said: ‘‘I
am really looking forward to commencing work for Sage Advocacy at an
important time for the organisation and thank the board for placing their trust in
me to take over from Mervyn Taylor who has done such wonderful work on
Sage Advocacy’s behalf.
‘‘Recent events have shown that now, more than ever, independent advocacy is
crucial, particularly for individuals who may be in a vulnerable situation or at
risk of abuse. Sage Advocacy has been at the forefront of critical work in the
areas of assisted decision-making, adequate home care and support, protection
of liberty and patient support and these are areas that I have worked in for many
years. I’m looking forward to working with the talented Sage team to continue
to drive this essential work.’’
Ms Rickard Clarke has also paid tribute to Mr Taylor’s contribution to Sage Advocacy.
‘‘On behalf of the Trustees and staff of Sage Advocacy I wish to thank Mervyn Taylor our outgoing Executive Director for his huge contribution to Sage Advocacy since its inception in 2014.
‘‘His vision and commitment to the establishment of an independent advocacy service ensures that the rights, freedoms and dignity of people who need support are promoted and protected in everyday practice by Sage Advocacy.
‘‘During his leadership, Mervyn has built up a team of advocates who are passionate that the voice of the person is central to every decision even in very challenging circumstances. Mervyn brought to his commitment his extraordinary range of experience, study and thought. At an early stage Mervyn was instrumental in developing Quality Standards for Support and Advocacy to be followed by a number of significant discussion papers to include Responding to the Support & Care of our Older Population to the very recent paper Delivering Quality Medical Care in Irish Nursing Homes which promote awareness of key policy and legal issues that need to be addressed in our society.
‘‘We in Sage Advocacy wish Mervyn every satisfaction and happiness in the next stage of his life and again thank him for his work in the advancement of independent advocacy - which hopefully will be on a statutory footing in the near future.’’
Mr Taylor has welcomed the appointment of Sarah Lennon and said: “I am pleased to have been able to make a contribution to the development of a unique organisation which acts on behalf of some of the most vulnerable people in our society independent of family, service provider and systems interests’’.