Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

NI barrister joins Supreme Court

Published 20/01/2010

Donal O'Donnell (left) at his declaration as a Judge of the Supreme Court with his father Judge Turlough O'Donnell
Donal O'Donnell (left) at his declaration as a Judge of the Supreme Court with his father Judge Turlough O'Donnell

A Belfast-born barrister has became the second person to be appointed straight from the Bar to the Supreme Court.

Senior Counsel Donal O'Donnell was joined by family and colleagues in Dublin as he made his declaration in front of Chief Justice, Mr Justice John Murray.

The newly-appointed judge is a leading constitutional law practitioner and a law reform commissioner who has worked on a number of high-profile cases.

He represented the Government before the European Court of Human Rights and also appeared for the State during a separated mother-of-two's long-running legal battle to use frozen embryos against the wishes of her estranged husband.

Mr O'Donnell's wife Mary Rose Binchy attended the ceremony in Dublin's Four Courts along with his father, former Chief Justice of Northern Ireland Turlough O'Donnell.

The 51-year-old's brother, also named Turlough, is chairman of the Bar Council and works as a Senior Counsel in Dublin.

The newly-appointed judge was educated at University College Dublin, the Kings Inns and the University of Virginia.

He is also also a member of the Royal Irish Academy Committee on the Origins of the Irish Constitution.

Mr O'Donnell takes the seat left vacant by the appointment of Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns as President of the High Court.

The father-of-four follows in the footsteps of Adrian Hardiman, the first person to be nominated to the Supreme Court directly from the Bar and one of the youngest ever appointees.

Press Association

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph