At its meeting today, the Government nominated a serving Judge of the Court of Appeal, the Hon. Mr. Justice Peter Kelly for appointment as President of the High Court to fill the vacancy that will arise on 19 December 2015 with the retirement of the serving President of the High Court, the Hon. Mr. Justice Nicholas Kearns.
In addition, the Government nominated Ms. Miriam O’Regan SC and Dr. Michael Twomey, Solicitor for appointment to the High Court, Mr. Brian O’Callaghan, Solicitor for appointment to the Circuit Court and Dr. Geoffrey Shannon, Solicitor for appointment to the District Court.
The vacancies in the High Court arose with the appointment of the Hon Ms. Justice Carmel Stewart as a Law Reform Commissioner from 1 September 2015 and the elevation of the Hon. Ms. Justice Iseult O’Malley to the Supreme Court on 1 October 2015. The vacancy in the Circuit Court arose with the retirement of His Hon. Judge Desmond Hogan on 20 November 2015 and the vacancy in the District Court arose with the retirement of Judge William Early on 25 November 2015
The Government has taken the necessary steps to formally advise President Higgins of the nominations in accordance with constitutional procedure.
15 December 2015
Note for Editors:
The nominations for appointment to the High Court, Circuit Court and District Court follow the receipt of lists of suitable candidates from the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board (JAAB).
The JAAB does not have a role in relation to the nomination of persons for consideration for appointment as President of the High Court by virtue of section 12 of the Courts and Court Officers Act, 1995.
The Law Reform Commission Act, 1975, as amended, provides for the number of ordinary judges of the High Court to be increased if a judge of the High Court is appointed as a Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission
Limited biographical notes in respect of each of the judges are below:
The Hon. Mr. Justice Peter Kelly
§ Educated: University College Dublin and the King’s Inns
§ Called to the Bar: 1973
§ Called to the Inner Bar: 1986
§ Appointed as a Judge of the High Court: 1996 and was head of the Commercial Court
§ Appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal: October 2014
Ms. Miriam O’Regan SC
§ Educated: University College Cork and the King’s Inns
§ Called to the Bar: 1983
§ Called to the Inner Bar: 2014
§ Experience in property, probate, family and commercial law
§ Court counsel for Cork City and County since 1989
Dr. Michael Twomey, Solicitor
§ Educated: University College Cork and University College Dublin and was awarded a Ph. D from School of Law, UCD
§ Enrolled as a solicitor: 1990
§ Accredited mediator with CEDR: 2003
§ Specialist in chancery and commercial law
§ Author of a principal legal text, Partnership Law as well as many other legal publications and articles in company and business law.
§ Previously a visiting researcher to Harvard Law School, legal adviser to the European Commission on international intellectual property law and lectured in law in Trinity College Dublin and the Law Society of Ireland.
Mr Brian O'Callaghan, Solicitor
· Educated: University College Cork
· Enrolled as a solicitor: 1982
· Accredited Mediator
· Sole practitioner, practising mainly in civil/commercial litigation with wide experience also in criminal law, family law, conveyancing and mediation; 2009 to date.
· Principal solicitor in MJ O'Callaghan and Son Solicitors:1982 – 2009
· Member of the Compliance Committee of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland: Feb 2015 to date; and is a volunteer with FLAC.
Dr. Geoffrey Shannon, Solicitor
· Educated: National University of Ireland, Galway and awarded a L.LD doctorate by University College Dublin
· Enrolled as a solicitor 1996
· Specialist in Family law, adoption law, child protection matters, administrative and employment law.
· Author of a major Irish legal text, Child Law as well as significant other publications and articles.
· Chairman of the Adoption Authority of Ireland; 2007 to present
· Special Rapporteur on Child Protection with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs: 2006 - present
· Appointed chairman of the Independent Child Death Review Group by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs: 2010-2012
· Previously a full time lecturer in Family Law with the Dublin Institute of Technology: 1999-2001.
· Has received numerous awards including a Special Merit Award at the Irish Law Awards (2013) as well as being shortlisted for the Human Rights Award of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe for his work defending children's rights.