the past two years. Through his continued membership of our Council, he provides frequent
reports and updates on major issues being addressed at Forum. There is no doubt that
the major challenge we face is the retention of trainees in Ireland for future renewal of the
Under the Chairmanship of Professor Tom Gorey the governance review process continues.
The previous Governance Committee had spent considerable time looking at various models
of governance which would guarantee the primacy of Council but at the same time provide
for a level of expertise and competency from, perhaps, non-executive directors who would
be of significant support to the senior management team in the day-to-day running of the
College. As incoming President last year, I co-opted Mr Justice Peter Kelly and Mr Willie
Cotter as lay members of Council, and all are agreed that they have contributed hugely to its
workings. These two men are now sitting on our Governance Committee and, having seen
how Council works and what its role is in the overall governance of the College, they are in a
prime position to advise and contribute to how we will reshape governance over the coming
year or 18 months. This is a difficult, but hugely important, project which is critical for the
future success of the College in all its different activities.
RCSI has always been aware of its privileged role in society and has engaged in both local
and international efforts to improve the health and education of people in societies less well
off than ourselves. The REACH programme, providing educational opportunities for children
in the neighbourhood immediately surrounding our campus in St. Stephen's Green, has gone
from strength to strength. In the international arena, RCSI has shown particular leadership in
its involvement and support for the COSECSA project with the help of funding from Irish Aid.
Our College has supported COSECSA in the areas of IT infrastructure, `training the trainer
courses', surgical skills courses and examinations. Our Vice-President, Mr Declan Magee is
the outgoing Chair of the International Outreach Committee and has dedicated considerable
time and effort to making that project a success. At a recent international meeting of surgical
leaders the RCSI/COSECSA initiative was highlighted as one of the leading examples of
global surgical support currently in operation. We are committed to a continuation of this
project, even in the absence of funding from Irish Aid.
Professor Kevin McGuigan's Solar Water Disinfection Project (SODIS) has proved a huge
success and continues to expand. Professor Ruairi Brugha's 5-year EU-funded project, COST
Africa, is progressing well in the education of clinical officers (non-medically qualified health
care workers) to carry out surgical procedures at district hospitals in Malawi and Zambia.
It is a tremendous honour and privilege to be President of RCSI. I have very much enjoyed my
first year of Presidency. RCSI is an outstanding organisation with a wonderful heritage, but its
continued success is related to the exceptional work ethic of its staff led by Professor Cathal
Kelly, our CEO. He, and his senior management team supported by Council, provide the
leadership and strategic thinking that will guarantee us continued success and security into
its privileged role in society and
has engaged in both local and
international efforts to improve the
health and education of people in
societies less well off than ourselves.