New Chief Justice nominated

Tue, Jul 19, 2011, 01:00

The Government has nominated Mrs Justice Susan Denham for appointment as Chief Justice of Ireland.

The first woman to be nominated to the role, she takes over from the Hon. Mr Justice John L. Murray.

In a statement this evening, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said President McAleese had been informed and would “make the appointment in accordance with Constitutional procedures.”

A daughter of Douglas Gageby, the former editor of The Irish Times, Mrs. Justice Denham was educated at Alexandra College, Dublin; Trinity College; King’s Inns and Columbia University, New York. She was called to the Bar in 1971 and became a Senior Counsel in 1987.

Appointed a Judge of the High Court in 1991, in December 1992 she was the first woman appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court.

Labour TD Anne Ferris said the nomination of Mrs Justice Denham was an important step in the reform of the judicial system.

"Justice Denham was pivotal in creating the court services system which led to significant changes in the organisation of the courts and support services for the judiciary," she said.

"I also think the message that the appointment sends out is one that states that women will not excluded from achieving high office."

Fianna Fáil justice spokesperson Dara Calleary also welcomed the nomination.

"Susan Denham is most deserving of the honour of becoming the first female Chief Justice. She has an impressive record of reform and transformation both legally and within the operations of the courts service," he said.