Government agrees appointments to High Court, Circuit Court and District Court

The Cabinet has agreed to nominate five new judges to the High Court, District Court, and Circuit Court bench to “ensure access to justice”.

Teresa Pilkington SC and solicitor Michael Quinn have been nominated for the High Court, while solicitor Eirinn McKiernan has been nominated for the District Court.

Senan Allen SC has been nominated for appointment to the High Court and solicitor James McCourt for appointment to the Circuit Court to fill pending vacancies that will arise in the coming weeks.

Commenting on the nominations yesterday, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan 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 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 Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy to the Court of Appeal.

The vacancy in the Circuit Court will arise following the retirement of Judge Michael O’Shea at the end of July.

The vacancy in the District Court arose following the untimely death of the late Judge Gráinne O’Neill.