Five new High Court judges nominated

Five new High Court judges nominated

Liam Kennedy SC, Oisín Quinn SC, Barry O’Donnell SC, Siobhan Lankford SC and Emily Farrell SC have been nominated for appointment as judges of the High Court.

The four barristers and one solicitor fill five new posts created by the expansion of the High Court bench under the Courts Act 2023, which allows for the appointment of 24 additional judges this year.

Mr Kennedy, the only solicitor among the new nominees, is a partner at A&L Goodbody. Originally from New Zealand, he was educated at the University of Otago before being admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1985.

He qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1990 before being admitted to the Irish roll of solicitors in 1993. He was one of the first solicitors in Ireland to be appointed as senior counsel in 2020.

Mr Quinn is a former Labour Party politician who served as Lord Mayor of Dublin from 2013–14. He is a graduate of University College Dublin, the University of London and the King’s Inns. He was called to the Bar in 1992 and the Inner Bar in 2008.

Mr O’Donnell was a former part-time chairman of the Mental Health Commission from 2006–11. Educated at University College Dublin and the King’s Inns, he was called to the Bar in 1995 and the Inner Bar in 2016.

Ms Lankford was educated at UCC and the King’s Inns, calling to the Bar in 1988 and the Inner Bar in 2018. She is an accredited mediator and a member of the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland, and a member of the standing committee of the King’s Inns.

Ms Farrell was educated at Trinity College Dublin and the King’s Inns, calling to the Bar in 1998 and the Inner Bar in 2020. She is a council member of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for Ireland and a lecturer at the King’s Inns.

The Law Society of Ireland has warmly welcomed the nominations.

President Maura Derivan said: “A well-funded and properly resourced justice system is essential for a functioning society. This much-needed investment in the court services is a significant step in the right direction to improve our justice system and increase access to justice for our people.

“This is an opportunity to build a justice system that is fit for purpose and will have a positive long-lasting impact on Irish society.

“The Law Society has long advocated for increased investment in resources and personnel for the Courts Service and we are pleased to see the government is moving in that direction.

“We look forward to welcoming further necessary appointments to the judiciary in the near future. In addition, we are hopeful these appointments will further enhance the diversity of judges in the country.”

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