28 July 2017 

The Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan TD has paid tribute to Mrs Justice Susan Denham who announced her retirement as Chief Justice on Friday 28 July 2017. 

Mrs Justice Susan Denham served as Ireland’s eleventh Chief Justice, and was the first woman ever to hold the position. 

Minister Flanagan commended the outgoing Chief Justice saying:  

“Mrs Justice Susan Denham has been an inspirational trailblazer in the legal and judicial world, becoming both the first female Chief Justice and also the first women on the Supreme Court.  

“Mrs Justice Susan Denham has bequeathed a rich legacy of learned judgements. Moreover, during her time as a judge she has been an outstanding advocate for reform and modernisation of our administration of justice. 

“She has been a noted proponent of the need for a statutory and independent Judicial Council and contributed significantly to the work that led to last month's publication of the Bill which provides for the establishment of a Judicial Council. When established, that Council will be yet another legacy in a career marked by leadership and a dedication to duty.” 

Mrs Justice Susan Denham was educated at Alexandra College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, King’s Inns and Columbia University in New York. She was called to the Bar in 1971 and became Senior Counsel in 1987.  

In 1992, she was the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court, having been appointed to the High Court just a year earlier in 1991. 

Minister Flanagan continued: 

“During her tenure Mrs Justice Susan Denham has been instrumental in reforms that led to the establishment of the Courts Service, and chaired important working groups on a Courts Commission and on a Court of Appeal, the Court which was ultimately established in 2014 and is now a fundamental working part of our courts system. 

“This country owes a deep debt of gratitude to Mrs Justice Susan Denham for her leadership and outstanding service to the State and in particular her sterling role in the creation of the Courts Service in 1998 and in the creation of the Court of Appeal”  

On the occasion of her retirement from the Office of Chief Justice Minister Flanagan commended Mrs Justice Susan Denham’s immense contribution to the law and public life and wished her a long, happy and healthy retirement. 

ENDS  

Note for Editors: 

Biographical Details: 

The Hon. Mrs Justice Susan Denham 

Educated: Alexandra College, Dublin; Trinity College Dublin; King’s Inns and Columbia University in New York. 

Called to the Bar in 1971 and to the Inner Bar in 1987 

Appointed to the High Court in April 1991 

Appointed to the Supreme Court in December 1992 

Appointed as Chief Justice in July 2011