Dr. Kennedy I Presume?In the comments here a few people have remarked on Finola Kennedy’s appointment and there have been a few ‘who is she?’s as well.
Well I knew her name and background and understand why she has been appointed to the Working Group on Domestic Partnership. It’s by way of a nod to Rome and Archbishops House. But I will not digress any further and let google do the talking.
Dr. Kennedy is an economist and recently served as chair of the Housing Finance Agency. She currently serves as a board member of the Railway Procurement Agency and is a director of ACC bank. She previously worked for the ESRI. I could not find a current academic affiliation for Dr. Kennedy.
She would be remembered by many women as the dissenting voice from the Second Commission on the Status of Women. Dissenting in that she has did not support several areas of the report which focussed on women’s economic rights to access the workplace and she published a minority report outlining how women would receive supports instead to stay at home.
Dr. Kennedy is also somewhat of an expert on Frank Duff and the Legion of Mary. You can hear her here speaking about what would have happened if Frank Duff had not founded the Legion of Mary. She wrote John Henry Newman and Frank Duff in 1982.
Her latest publication is Cottage to Crèche. Family Change in Modern Ireland. She writes an article in Irish on the book on CatholicIreland.net. The Wikipedia entry on the Riordans notes that in this text Dr. Kennedy highlighted that the Riordans (a rural soap opera on RTE – before Glenroe)’ introduced one of the most sensitive issues in rural family life – the links between property, farm ownership and marriage at the very time of the debate on the Succession Bill’. One wonders what she will make of the succession bill with regard to the rights of the child of a non-biological mother in a lesbian parenting relationship.
In her biography on the RPA website Dr. Kennedy’s areas of expertise are listed as public expenditure and demography.
I don’t know what expertise Dr. Kennedy has in the area of policy with regard to non-marital relationships and in particular same sex relationships. If her expertise is demography and family economics then the 1300 same sex couples counted in the last census will tell her this is not an important area. However we know that these figures are not a true representation of the situation due to the difficulties posed in answering the question on the form. Can we speculate on what Frank Duff and the Legion of Mary would have thought!
Apart from one representative from GLEN and someone from the Family Lawyers Association (of which I know nothing) there is no representative from any of the statutory or non statutory bodies which deal with one parent or unmarried parents. Surely Treoir or One Family or the NWCI could also have been targeted to provide a family economics or social policy specialist.