Appointment of the President of the District Court

At its meeting today, the Government agreed to nominate Judge Paul Kelly for appointment as the President of the District Court by the President of Ireland.

The vacancy as President of the District Court will arise following the upcoming appointment of His Honour Judge Colin Daly, President of the District Court, to the Circuit Court. Arrangements are currently being made for his appointment by the President.

The Government has taken the necessary steps to formally advise President Higgins of the nomination in accordance with constitutional practice


Note for Editors:

In accordance with articles 13.9 and 35.1 of the Constitution, judicial appointments are made by the President acting on the advice of the Government.

A non-statutory Advisory Committee was established to assist with identifying eligible and qualified persons, including from among serving judges, who were interested in the post of President of the District Court, and following a consideration of their suitability, making recommendations to the Minister for Justice on preferred candidates.

A similar process was used to that for the appointment of the Chief Justice in 2017, the President of the Court of Appeal in 2018, the Presidents of the Circuit Court and the District Court in 2019, and the President of the High Court in 2020.

The members of the Advisory Committee were:

  • The Honourable Mr. Justice Michael White of the High Court;
  • Ms Jane Williams, Sia Partners, and also a previous Chairwoman of TLAC, Pensions Authority, Small Business & Services Forum
  • Mr. Paul Gallagher SC, Attorney General.

Limited biographical details:

Judge Paul Kelly


  • 1978 Bachelor of Civil Law, UCD
  • 1979 enrolled as Solicitor, Law Society of Ireland
  • 2018 LLM, Advanced Legal Practice, Northumbria University

Appointed to the District Court in December 2010