Judge at centre of Polish extradition case joins Court of Appeal

Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly replaces Ms Justice Mary Irvine, who has moved to the Supreme Court

Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly has been sworn in as a judge in the Court of Appeal, where she replaces Ms Justice Mary Irvine, who has moved to the Supreme Court.

Ms Justice Donnelly attended the ceremony in the Supreme Court accompanied by her wife, Dr Susan Miner.

As a High Court judge, Ms Justice Donnelly regularly dealt with applications under the European Arrest Warrant scheme and was in the news last year when she sought guidance from the Court of Justice of the European Union about a case involving a Polish national.

Her decision to ask if controversial changes to the Polish judicial system called into question the rule of law in Poland and the mutual trust that underpinned the European extradition system, prompted a strong reaction from the Polish authorities.


“The court shouldn’t engage in political games,” the deputy justice minister, Marcin Warchol said.

Some media outlets in Poland made a link between the judge’s decision and her sexual orientation. This in turn prompted the Association of Judges of Ireland to issue a strongly worded defence of their colleague.

Educated in University College Dublin, Ms Justice Donnelly was called to the bar in 1988, and served as co-chair of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.