New book shines light on Ireland’s Supreme Court

Book is about our social, cultural and political history, says Diarmaid Ferriter

Irish Times journalist Ruadhán Mac Cormaic at the launch of The Supreme Court with Diarmaid Ferriter, professor of modern Irish history at UCD, last night. It is the first book about the Supreme Court since the foundation of the State. Photograph Nick Bradshaw.

Irish Times journalist Ruadhán Mac Cormaic at the launch of The Supreme Court with Diarmaid Ferriter, professor of modern Irish history at UCD, last night. It is the first book about the Supreme Court since the foundation of the State. Photograph Nick Bradshaw.

 

The first book about the Supreme Court since the foundation of the State reminds us of how in the dark we are about the workings of certain institutions, according to professor of modern Irish history Diarmaid Ferriter.

Supreme Court judges have written science fiction, and books on philosophy and fishing, but none have written memoirs about their time on the bench, he said when launching The Supreme Court, by former legal affairs correspondent with The Irish TimesRuadhán Mac Cormaic.

The difficulty with writing about the court was partly to do with getting source material. However, many judges had spoken anonymously to Mac Cormaic – now The Irish Times’ foreign affairs correspondent – and allowed him produce “an important book”, Prof Ferriter said.

The book shows judges could be “petulant and pampered” but also “very good public servants”. It is, said Prof Ferriter, about our social, cultural and political history, as well as our legal history.