Mr Justice Donal O'Donnell formally appointed to Supreme Court

Mr Justice Donal O'Donnell: nominated by Government

Mr Justice Donal O'Donnell: nominated by Government


MR JUSTICE Donal O’Donnell made the declaration required by the Constitution for appointment as a Supreme Court judge at a formal ceremony in the court yesterday.

Mr Justice O’Donnell made the declaration before the Chief Justice, Mr Justice John Murray, and seven Supreme Court judges during a brief ceremony in the court, which was packed with family members, friends and colleagues from the Bar.

The Chief Justice then formally handed Mr Justice O’Donnell his warrant of appointment after which he welcomed his new colleague to the bench and wished him well.

The attendance included Mr Justice O’Donnell’s father Turlough, a former judge of the Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland; his wife, artist Mary Rose Binchy; their four children, Eoin, Siuin, Aoife and Kevin, and his brother Turlough O’Donnell, former chairman of the Bar Council.

Also present were the Attorney General, Paul Gallagher, and Law Society director general Ken Murphy as well as a large number of his senior counsel colleagues, including Brian Murray and Gerard Hogan.

Mr Justice O’Donnell is among a small number of senior counsel nominated straight from the Bar to the Supreme Court and joins Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman, who was in 2000 also nominated straight from the Bar, on the Supreme Court bench.

A native of Belfast, Mr Justice O’Donnell (51) was nominated by the Government to fill the seat left vacant by the appointment of Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns as president of the High Court.