Minister Flanagan welcomes the appointment of new judges for High Court, Circuit Court and District Court


10 July 2018


The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has welcomed today’s Government decision to nominate five new judges as follows: Ms. Teresa Pilkington SC and Mr. Michael Quinn, Solicitor, for appointment by the President to the High Court and Ms. Eirinn McKiernan, Solicitor, for appointment by the President to the District Court. The Government also agreed in principle to nominate Mr. Senan Allen SC for appointment to the High Court, and Mr. James McCourt, Solicitor, for appointment to the Circuit Court to fill pending vacancies that will arise in the coming weeks.


Speaking after today’s Government meeting, the Minister said: “I am delighted that the Government agreed today’s nominations to the High Court, Circuit Court and District Court. The appointments underline the Government’s commitment to ensuring that vacancies in the courts are filled in a timely manner so that the courts have all the necessary judges to ensure access to justice. Since 2016 there have been 39 judicial appointments – with 14 judicial appointments in 2016, 16 in 2017 and 15 to date in 2018 (which includes nominations agreed by Government today).


I know well the importance and value of providing the necessary resources for an excellent court system to enable the Courts Service to maintain and improve its services in the years ahead.   


The Government is committed to ensuring access to justice including through providing sufficient judicial resources and I note the good progress made in the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill which is currently in the Seanad”.


The vacancies in the High Court arise following the appointment of the Ms. Justice Marie Baker and Mr. Justice Brian McGovern to the Court of Appeal and the vacancy that will arise following the pending appointment of the Mr. Justice Patrick McCarthy to the Court of Appeal. The vacancy in the Circuit Court will arise following the retirement of His Hon. Judge Michael O’Shea on 31 July 2018 and the vacancy in the District Court which arose following the untimely death of the late Judge Gráinne O’Neill.