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Appointments to the Supreme Court, High Court and District Court

At its meeting today, the Government nominated a serving Judge of the High Court, the Hon. Ms. Justice Iseult O’Malley for appointment by the President to the Supreme Court. The vacancy arose from the recent retirement from the Supreme Court of the Hon. Mr. Justice John Murray.

The Government today also agreed in principle to nominate Mr. Richard Humphreys SC and Mr. Tony O’Connor SC for appointment by the President to the High Court to fill the vacancies due to arise upon the retirement of the Hon. Mr. Justice Carroll Moran in August 2015 and the post arising from the anticipated appointment of the Hon. Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring as the Chair of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

In addition, the Government nominated Ms Miriam A. Walsh, Solicitor and Mr John F. Brennan BL for appointment by the President to the District Court to fill vacancies arising from the retirement of Judge Seán MacBride and the elevation of Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin to the Circuit Court. The Government also agreed in principle to nominate Mr John Cheatle BL to fill the vacancy that will arise in the District Court from the pending retirement of Judge Mary Collins.

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

22 July 2015


Note for Editors

Section 17 of the Courts and Court Officers Act 1995 provides that where the Government proposes to advise the President to appoint to judicial office a person who is…a judge of the High Court….the provisions of section 16 of that Act (which relate to the provision by the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board of a list of suitable nominees) shall not apply.

The nominations to the High Court and the District Court follow the receipt of lists of suitable candidates from the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board.

Section 2 (1) of the Fourth Schedule of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 provides for the number of ordinary judges of the High Court to be increased if a judge of the High Court is appointed chairperson of the Ombudsman Commission.


Biographical Details for Ms. Justice Iseult O’Malley
§ Educated: Trinity College Dublin and the King’s Inns
§ Called to the Bar: 1987
§ Called to the Inner Bar: 2007
§ Appointed a judge of the High Court: June 2012
§ Had practiced mainly in criminal law and also had experience in judicial review, extradition, immigration and housing law.
§ Director and former Chairperson of FLAC from 1985 to 2012
§ Independent Chairperson of the Refugee Agency from 1993 to 1998
§ Member of the Employment Appeals Tribunal 1995-1998 and Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal 1995-1999
§ ESB Rehab Person of the Year Award in 2004 for work with FLAC
Biographical Details for Mr Richard Humphreys SC
§ Educated: University College Dublin, graduate in law including to PhD level and the King’s Inns
§ Called to the Bar: 1991
§ Called to the Inner Bar: 2009
§ Practices mainly in Constitutional law, judicial review and immigration/asylum law
§ Lecturer in law, University College Dublin and Cork: 1990-1993
§ Special Adviser to the Minister for Equality and Law Reform: 1993-1997
§ Chairperson of Statute Law Expert Advisory Group, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: 2013 to date
§ Member of the Independent Appeals Tribunal, Prisons Act: 2008-2010
§ Volunteer on Election Observation Missions
§ Author of extensive range of legal publications in Constitutional and public law
Biographical Details for Mr Tony O’Connor SC
§ Educated: University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, the Law Society and the King’s Inns
§ Called to the Bar: 1991
§ Called to the Inner Bar: 2006
§ Accredited Mediator
§ Wide experience in civil, commercial and EU law, including banking, competition, procurement, professional negligence, probate and family law
§ Chairman of Mental Health Tribunals: 2013 to date
§ Chairman of Aviation Appeals Panel in 2012
§ Legal assessor at Fitness to Practice Committee hearings of the Medical Council, Nursing Board, Dental Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland: 2007 to date
§ Mediator in banking and commercial disputes: 2010 to date
§ Author of several legal publications in medical, competition and procurement law
§ Voluntary work with Concern Worldwide, IRFU Child Welfare Committee and member of the Institute of International and European Affairs, Irish Society for European Law and the Medico Legal Society of Ireland