The judiciary and the Oireachtas


A chara, – The sanctimonious talk from politicians about the separation of powers, and their preclusion from commenting on matters in the judicial area, would have a lot more credibility if they were not involved in appointing the judges in the first place.

Surely if they have the power to appoint judges, it follows that they should also have the ultimate, if qualified, power to dismiss them?

Isn’t that the whole point of Article 35.4 of the Constitution which states: “A judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court shall not be removed from office except for stated misbehaviour or incapacity and then only upon resolutions passed by Dáil Éireann and by Seanad Éireann calling for his removal”? – Is mise,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Reading through the many letters in your newspaper that are suggesting that Chief Justice Frank Clarke is now “the problem” and should therefore back down, it is no harm to reiterate what he said in his first letter to Seamus Woulfe.

“It is my view, and the unanimous view of all of the members of the Court (including the ex-officio members), that the cumulative effect of all of these matters has been to cause a very significant and irreparable damage both to the Court and to the relationship within the Court which is essential to the proper functioning of a collegiate court.”

When the many eminent legal and political minds now advocating for the Chief Justice to fall on his own sword, as it were, they are also then by implication criticising the other members of the court who are of the “unanimous view” that not only was Seamus Woulfe wrong to attend the dinner in Clifden, but that his subsequent reaction to it has led them to this conclusion.

When I did my Leaving Certificate exam many years ago, the advice from all the teachers was to make sure to read the question first before attempting an answer. That advice is never more warranted now when dealing with what seems to be an intractable problem but which in actual fact may not be. – Yours, etc,




Co Kerry.

A chara, – I have no doubt that politicians are silently delighted that the general public no longer regards them as the group in society with the most inflated sense of their own importance. – Is mise,



Co Kildare.