Minister Flanagan welcomes nominations for appointment to the Court of Appeal and the High Court


6 June 2018


The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has welcomed today’s Government decision to nominate the Hon. Ms Justice Marie Baker and the Hon. Mr Justice Brian McGovern, serving Judges of the High Court, for appointment by the President to the Court of Appeal and to nominate Ms Tara Burns, SC, for appointment by the President to the High Court.


Speaking after today’s Government meeting, the Minister said: “I am delighted that the Government agreed today’s nominations to the Court of Appeal and the High Court. These are important appointments and will ensure that the Courts across the jurisdictions are in a position to function at full capacity. I congratulate the new appointees and wish them well in their new roles.


This Government is committed to ensuring that there is an efficient and fair system of justice in place and filling judicial vacancies will assist in creating greater efficiencies and reduced waiting times for cases to be heard across all areas of business. The Court of Appeal plays a key role and it is important that the Government ensures that it has the necessary resources to tackle its heavy work schedule including its legacy caseload.


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 passed all stages in the Dáil last week and I look forward to bringing it to the Seanad very soon.


Filling judicial vacancies is happening at the same time as we are delivering major improvements in courts infrastructure. Only last week I attended the formal opening of the renovated and refurbished Cork Courthouse, the sixth project out of a total of seven capital courthouse developments and I look forward to the final project being completed in the coming weeks in Mullingar.“


The vacancies in the Court of Appeal arise from the appointment of the Hon. Mr Justice George Birmingham as President of the Court of Appeal on 28 May 2018 and the retirement of Mr Justice Paul Gilligan on 17 May 2018. The vacancy in the High Court arises from the retirement of Mr Justice Michael Moriarty on 10 April 2018. In addition, the Government agreed in principle to nominate the Hon. Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, Judge of the High Court, for appointment by the President to the Court of Appeal, once a vacancy arises in that Court following the resignation from Judicial Office of the Hon. Mr Justice Alan Mahon on 2 July in order to take up his role as Ombudsman for the Defence Forces.