Albert Reynolds’s daughter nominated as High Court judge

Government makes several judicial recommendations and appoints new HEA chair

 Judge Leonie Reynolds in 2010. The Circuit Court judge has been nominated for a High Court position. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Judge Leonie Reynolds in 2010. The Circuit Court judge has been nominated for a High Court position. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The Government has nominated Leonie Reynolds, a daughter of the former taoiseach Albert Reynolds, to be a judge of the High Court.

Ms Reynolds is a judge of the Circuit Court, and will take up a position on the High Court bench when Mr Justice John Hedigan moves to the Court of Appeal. She was previously a barrister, and joined the Circuit Court bench six years ago.

The Government also nominated Cormac Quinn for appointment to the Circuit Court and barrister Kathryn Hutton, and solicitors Fiona Lydon and David Waters to the District Court. The appointments will be formally made by the President.

The vacancy in the Circuit Court arises from the retirement of Judge Donagh McDonagh earlier this year. The vacancies in the District Court also arise after retirements earlier this year.

The Government also made a number of other appointments on Wednesday. Minister for Education Richard Bruton announced a new board of the Higher Education Authority, which will be chaired by Michael Horgan, current chair of the Health and Safety Authority and former chief executive of the Royal College of Surgeons.

The HEA is responsible for the oversight and regulation of the higher education sector and for making funding allocations to the different colleges and universities. This gives it enormous sway over direction and policy at third level.

The new board members are Prof Orla Feely (UCD), Sinéad O’Flanagan (MIT), Lynn Ramsey (Letterkenny IT), John Wall (Waterford IT), Sharon Feeney (Dublin IT), Tony Donohoe (Ibec), Judith Eaton (Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Washington DC), Darina Kneafsey (Trinity College) and Pól Ó’Móráin (Irish Export Trade Council). The appointments are for a period of five years.

Mr Bruton also made appointments to the National Council for Special Education. The new board will be chaired by Eamon Stack.

Geoffrey Shannon was also reappointed as special rapporteur on child protection.