The long-serving executive director of Maynooth-based charity Trócaire has announced his retirement.
Justin Kilcullen will leave his job at the helm of the development and third world organisation this October, after 20 years of service.
He was appointed Executive Director of Trócaire in 1993, having worked for many years in Africa and Asia.
A qualified architect, Mr Kilcullen began working overseas in Tanzania before moving to Asia, specialising in the design and construction of refugee camps for Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees. He joined Trócaire in 1981 as Africa Programme Officer and later served as Trócaire representative in Laos.
He is a past president of CIDSE - an international alliance of Catholic development organisations in Europe and North America - and of Concord, the confederation of European development NGOs, representing more than 1,600 such organisations across the European Union.
He is currently the European delegate on the Global Council for civil society development effectiveness. He is also a member of the National Famine Commemoration Committee.
In 2002 Mr Kilcullen was awarded the Robert Matthew Medal by the International Union of Architects for his work on human settlements.
Mr Kilcullen said: “I have been humbled and inspired by the commitment of so many people I have met during that time to ending and addressing global poverty. In my travels over many years, I have witnessed the extraordinary courage of our staff and of our many partner organisations as they stand up for justice and the rights of the people we serve. Here at home, I have never failed to be impressed by the generosity and innate kindness of people in Ireland who support Trócaire’s work each year. Their compassion and calls for justice are appreciated by poor families all over the developing world.”
Trocaire Chairman, Bishop John Kirby, paid tribute to the retiring director. He said Mr Kilcullen, driven by a personal conviction “has devoted time, energy and huge commitment to work with people in some of the poorest countries in the world to improve their lives, while campaigning tirelessly in Ireland and internationally on their behalf”.