Cllr Tom Maher, a member of Kilkenny County Council, has been elected as the new Chairperson of the Health Service Executive’s Regional Health Forum South at its meeting in Cork on Thursday last.

The functional area of the Regional Health Forum South covers the city councils of Cork and Waterford and the county councils of Carlow, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford. Each of the HSE’s four administrative areas nationwide has a Regional Health Forum, which includes representatives from the city and county councils within that area.

The Fora make representations to the HSE on the range and operation of health and personal social services in their area, and the HSE in turn provides administrative services to the Forum. Cllr Maher takes over from Waterford City Council nominee Cllr Hilary Quinlan, whose term has expired.

Cllr Maher was elected to Kilkenny County Council, initially for the Thomastown Electoral Area in 1974. He has gone on to represent the Callan Electoral Area was most recently re-elected to the County Council in 2009.

Cllr Maher was the Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council on two occasions, in 1992/93 and again in 2007/08. He served as a member of the South Eastern Health Board from 1999 until its dissolution in 2004. The HSE’s Regional Forum South was established in 2006 and Tom Maher was nominated by Kilkenny County Council as one of its four members in 2007. He has since served on the Forum’s Primary, Continuing and Community Care Committee.

Speaking after his election, Cllr. Maher said:

“I’m delighted to have been elected by colleagues from seven counties to serve in this position. I’d like on their behalf to thank the outgoing Chairperson, Cllr. Hilary Quinlan, for his leadership to date of what is a most useful body as regards interaction between public representatives and the HSE on issues of concern to our constituents. I look forward to my experience from local government, the health board and campaigning on health issues locally being of benefit in this position.”