Our Moderators

What is a Moderator?

Moderators are professionals who specialise in helping people to tell their stories and, if they wish, to have constructive conversations.

They will meet with everyone who applies to discuss their experiences, and will support them as they make their choices, and decisions about what they would like to do. They are able to hold meetings in a neutral venue, ensuring an environment where information can be given freely and openly.

Meet Moderator Diane McDonald and hear what she has to say about Restoration of Trust meetings:

Read below to find out more about Ber, Diane and Noreen.


Ber Barry Murray

Accredited Advanced Mediator, Mediators’ Institute of Ireland
Certified Mediator, International Mediators Institute

Ber brings a wide range of experience to her role as a moderator of the Restoration of Trust Meetings. She is an accredited Advanced Mediator with the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland for almost twenty-five years. She is the current President of the Institute.

The breadth of mediation work that she has been engaged in includes all areas of family mediation, including working with children, workplace mediation, financial settlement mediation and health care mediation. She is a member of several panels, including the HSE Review & Investigations panel, where she has worked on highly sensitive reviews into patient/service user incidents; the Medical Council Mediation panel, where she has mediated disputes between patients and clinicians.

In a former role, Ber was the Education Co-Ordinator with the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine, where she held responsibility for the delivery and co-ordination of two programmes: MBA in Health Care Management and the H.Dip. in Training and Quality Management.

On behalf of the MII she has sat on a number of Committees, including the Department of Justice’s Family Justice Oversight Group. She represents the MII in its capacity as a nominee for the forthcoming establishment of the Mediation Council, which will register mediators in Ireland.

Diane McDonald

Diane McDonald, BA,
MSc (UCC),

Diane McDonald is a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist having previously worked in the arts for many years. She has a Diploma in Counselling (Marriage and Relationship Counselling), a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy with Turning Point Institute/UCC. These courses deepened her understanding of people and of psychotherapy, culminating in a piece of research which looked at psychotherapy for people with schizophrenia. This led to an interest in working with people who have been diagnosed through the mental health system, and family members who may also be affected. Since 2014, she has worked for the Mental Health Commission as a lay member on mental health tribunals. This has enhanced her knowledge of the mental health system and has allowed her to make a contribution to the decision-making that is involved in detaining patients who may be unwell. More recently she has qualified as a mediator.

Diane has been working in private practice since 2015, providing both couples therapy and individual therapy. As she has progressed in this work, she has come to realise that she works well with particular clients. Having personal experience of post-natal depression and being closely connected to someone with a diagnosis of schizophrenia has given her a deep and visceral understanding which informs her work greatly. She also loves to work with people at any transitional stage of their lives, whether through crisis points or simply looking for more out of life.

Since graduating from Turning Point Institute/UCC, she has found her way back there as a tutor and is currently enjoying working closely on skills and group process with the students as they forge a path well known to her.

Diane feels very privileged to be a part of the Restoration of Trust Meetings and is looking forward to meeting those affected by what has happened. She values the power of dialogue in her work as a couples therapist and she is hopeful that through creating a meeting that is underpinned by respect, understanding and empathy, trust may begin to be restored.

Noreen Fitzpatrick

BA, H.Dip, MA

Noreen is a fulltime mediator with 12 years’ experience, currently working with Focus Ireland specialising in the fields of family conflict, youth homelessness and Foster family placement breakdown. Noreen facilitates dialogue with interagency parties, throughout this collaboration Noreen provides a safe space for parents, Foster families, Birth families and teenagers to tell their stories and rebuild trust. As part of this process, she works closely with TUSLA, the Youth Advocacy Programme and CAHMS, as well as Schools and the probation services. She facilitates discussions and difficult conversations to develop partnerships to provide a quality service to empower all parties involved.

Noreen’s approach is one of respect, openness and active listening, ensuring a safe space to develop common ground and mutual understanding. She believes that the first step is to build trust and to meet the parties on their own terms with a vision for reaching a middle ground. The concepts of confidentiality and storytelling are integral to this process. Noreen has engaged with people where relationships have been completely severed and through the framework of mediation they have started to talk for the first time in many years.

Noreen started her career in Homeless services working in Novas Initiatives, a homeless shelter for at risk women with drug and alcohol dependency. She then managed a residential unit for Asylum seeking young people for the greater Dublin area. Noreen also worked as an employment mediator with the Northside Partnership working closely with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection navigating challenging conflict and employment disputes.

Noreen holds a Masters in Mediation and Conflict Intervention, a Higher diploma in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts International in History and Spanish. She is a member of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland, Fitzwilliam Square Sharing and Learning group and serves as vice chair on the board for Edenmore Drug Intervention Team. Noreen has developed specialised skills volunteering with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and the National Adult Literacy Agency. In her spare time Noreen enjoys hiking, cycling, kayaking and exploring ethnic foods and languages.
The Moderator's role

The purpose of the Moderator is to be a neutral person who can help people to tell their story and, if they wish, to have a constructive conversation.

The Moderator is responsible for chairing meetings and their goal is to ensure that the 5 values of the Restoration of Trust Meetings are held to the highest standards.

You can read more about the Vision and Values of Restoration of Trust Meetings here.

Confidentiality and Ethics

The Moderators will maintain absolute confidentiality in relation to the identity of those involved in the process. They will also keep completely confidential any information from a meeting and any documentation that arises from it.

Adherence to relevant professional Codes of Conduct, Ethics and Practice is paramount in the work conducted by the Moderators.

The Facilitator will also provide some rules to the Moderators that address confidentiality.