Séamus Woulfe is not listed for any Supreme Court hearing up to early March

New judge is, however, listed to deal with leave to appeal matters

The Supreme Court judge Mr Justice Séamus Woulfe is not yet listed for a hearing of the court up to and including the beginning of March.

A list of the next tranche of cases to be heard by the court was published on December 22nd, and includes cases to be heard up to March 4th, and the judges who had been assigned to hear the cases.

However, it is understood the cases listed for the court in the period would have involved matters to do with his period as attorney general, and therefore he would not have been expected to sit in on those cases.

Mr Justice Woulfe is listed to deal with leave to appeal matters with his colleagues during the period.


Mr Justice Woulfe was appointed a member of the court in July but was soon thereafter embroiled in the so-called Golfgate controversy following his attendance at an Oireachtas Golf Society dinner despite coronavirus public health guidance at the time, which resulted in an extraordinary exchange of correspondence between Mr Justice Woulfe and the Chief Justice, Mr Justice Frank Clarke, who among other functions assigns judges to hear cases.

In the correspondence, which has been published, the Chief Justice expressed his personal view that Mr Justice Woulfe should resign from the court.

However, in a letter to the Chief Justice dated November 9th, Mr Justice Woulfe said he did not consider it in any way appropriate that he should resign.

He also noted that he had been told that he would not be assigned to sit to hear any cases in the Supreme Court “until February 2021”.

A total of 10 cases are listed to be heard by the court between January 11th and March 4th.

As well as hearing cases, judges of the Supreme Court work on the delivery of rulings, as well as considering applications for appeals to be heard by the court.

The latter work is done in private, and would not be mentioned on the published list.

Mr Justice Woulfe has not as yet sat in on any hearings so cannot work on the delivery of any rulings.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent