HomeNewsGovernment Press Releases

Appointments to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and to the High Court

 

At its meeting today, the Government nominated The Hon. Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan for appointment by the President to the Supreme Court and nominated Mr David Barniville SC for appointment by the President to the High Court.

There are three vacancies in the Supreme Court arising from the untimely death of Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman in March 2016 and the retirements of Ms Justice Mary Laffoy in June 2017 and Mrs Justice Susan Denham in July 2017.

In addition, the Government agreed in principle to nominate The Hon. Mr Justice Paul Gilligan for appointment by the President to the Court of Appeal, once a vacancy arises in that Court following the elevation of The Hon. Ms Justice Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan to the Supreme Court.

The vacancy in the High Court arose from the retirement of Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan on 2 October 2017.

The Government has taken the necessary steps to formally advise President Higgins of the nominations in accordance with constitutional procedure.

The Government also agreed in principle to nominate Mr Michael MacGrath SC for appointment by the President to the High Court to fill the vacancy that will arise with the retirement of Mr Justice Henry Abbott on 18 December 2017.

Note for Editors

Under section 17 of the Courts and Court Officers Act 1995 (as amended by the Court of Appeal Act 2014), procedures in respect of the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board do not apply in respect of judicial appointments where a sitting judge is nominated for appointment.

The nominations for appointment to the High Court follow the receipt of a list of suitable candidates from the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board.

Biographical details:

The Hon. Ms. Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan
· Educated: University College Dublin, the College of Europe, Bruges and the Law Society of Ireland
· Admitted as a Solicitor: 1973
· Called to the Bar: 1980
· Called to the Inner Bar: 1988
· Appointed as a Judge of the High Court: 3 July 2002
· Appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal: 29 October 2014

The Hon. Mr Justice Paul Gilligan
· Educated: University College Dublin and the Honourable Society of King’s Inns
· Called to the Bar: 1971
· Called to the Inner Bar: 1984
· Appointed as a Judge of the High Court: 27 January 2003

Mr David Barniville, SC
· Educated: University College Dublin and the Honourable Society of King’s Inns
· Called to the Bar in July 1990 and to the Inner Bar in October 2006
· Accredited CEDR mediator since 2007
· Practises primarily in commercial law (including company law, competition and insurance law, EU law) as well as Constitutional and administrative law including Judicial Review;
· Member of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority as a nominee of the Bar Council (October 2016 to date) and previously a member of the Courts Service Board, the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board and the Legal Aid Board
· Previous chairman of the Bar Council 2014 – 2016
· Adjunct Professor of Commercial Law, University of Limerick.

Mr Michael MacGrath, SC
· Educated: University College Dublin and the Honourable Society of King’s Inns
· Called to the Bar in July 1984 and to the Inner Bar in 2000
· Practises mainly in civil and commercial law, personal injuries and medical negligence, general Tort Law, Planning and Public Procurement as well as Constitutional and Judicial Review
· Counsel to various Commissions of Investigation and Tribunals of Inquiry
· Previous chairman of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission 2005 – 2009
· External examiner Law of Tort, King’s Inns since 2009.