Six new board members have been appointed to the Irish Red Cross board as part of what it terms a process of ‘change and renewal’, the Irish Times reported.

Elections took place over the weekend under a new constitution which for the first time allows members – rather than the Government – to elect the Chair of the organisation.

Under the new constitutional conditions, David O’Callaghan, former secretary of the Department of Defence was elected Chairman for a three year term.

Tom Horwell, a long serving member of the Irish Red Cross and manager of the HSE’s national ambulance service has been appointed Vice-President. The position of Treasurer went to chartered accountant Denis Reeves while Barry O’Donovan, long-term member of the society was appointed as Secretary.

The Irish Red Cross recently hit the headlines over allegations of poor corporate governance and financial mismanagement particularly over funds raised for the Asian tsunami in 2005.

“We are working through a very ambitious programme of change and renewal and I look forward to working with the new board to ensure the society continues to be a leader in the provision of humanitarian support at home and abroad” Mr O’Callaghan said.