Minister for Health Dr James Reilly today (Thursday 26 June 2014), speaking in advance of the first meeting of the Healthy Ireland Council in Dublin Castle, announced the appointment of Mr Keith Wood to the position of Chairperson of the Council. Mr Wood is a former Irish International rugby player and founding Director of W2 Consulting. Minister Reilly also announced the names of the 37 members of the Council and said that he was very impressed with the calibre of people who applied and were appointed.
President Michael D. Higgins has agreed to be the Patron of the Healthy Ireland Council.
“I am delighted that Keith Wood has accepted the position of Chairperson of the Healthy Ireland Council” said the Minister. “While he is best known as an outstanding sports star who did his province and country proud on many occasions, I am equally impressed by the commitment he has shown personally and in his business career to community and health related initiatives. I believe that given the passion and commitment he has displayed as a sportsman and the high esteem in which he is held by all sectors of society, Mr Wood is the ideal person to lead the important work that this Council will undertake in the coming years.”
Commenting on the appointment of Mr Wood and the Council members, An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny said “Healthy Ireland is an initiative aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland now and for generations to come. I am delighted to see so many leaders from different walks of Irish life coming together to endorse, support and drive Healthy Ireland. I am delighted that Keith Wood has agreed to chair the Council and I wish him and the Council every success at its inaugural meeting today and in its important work over the years ahead.”
Minister Reilly continued “The importance of the Healthy Ireland Council and its potential to contribute to the vision of a Healthy Ireland is underscored by the presence at today’s meeting of Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organisation. The Healthy Ireland Council is integral to delivering the “whole of society” approach to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation. I see the Council as the champions for delivering the vision of a Healthy Ireland, where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential, where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society.”
Thanking the Minister for appointing him as Chairperson, Keith Wood said “I am honoured to accept the role of Chairperson of the Healthy Ireland Council. I understand the challenge of improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland and believe that the Council will bring a new approach to engaging all of society as agents of change. I look forward to playing my part in making health and wellbeing a priority for all of us and finding ways of encouraging everybody to understand the role they have to play in a healthier future.”