Public Affairs Ireland | Training and Development | Conferences

The Government has nominated seven persons for appointment by the President to the Circuit Court and five persons for appointment by the President to the District Court.

Those nominated for appointment to the Circuit are as follows: Sarah Berkeley, BL; Pauline Codd, BL; Barry Hickson, SC; Keenan Johnson, Solicitor, Mary Ellen Ring, SC; Judge David Riordan (Judge of the District Court); Carmel Stewart, SC.

Those nominated for appointment to the District Court are as follows: Alan J. Mitchell, Solicitor; Eugene O’ Kelly, Solicitor; Marie Quirke, Solicitor; Kevin Staunton, Solicitor and Michael Walsh, Solicitor.

Circuit Court nominations

Sarah Berkeley, BL was educated at University College Dublin and Kings Inns. She was called to the Bar in 1992. She served as Vice Chairperson of the Employment Appeals Tribunal between 1996 and 2003. Her areas of practice include civil litigation and family law.

Pauline Codd, BL was educated at Trinity College Dublin (BA Hons) and the Kings Inns. She was called to the Bar in 1992. Since 2009, she has chaired the Garda Disciplinary Tribunal. Her areas of practice include civil and criminal litigation with an emphasis on employment law.

Mr Barry Hickson, S.C. was educated at the Institute of Industrial Engineers, UCD and Kings Inns. He was called to the bar in 1978 and to the Inner Bar in 2004.  He was Vice Chairperson of the Employment Appeals Tribunal and Chair of the Garda Disciplinary Tribunal. His practice areas include family and criminal law and personal injury litigation.

Mr Keenan Johnson, Solicitor, was educated at the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland. He was a member of the Registrars Committee of the Law Society from 1994 until 1998. He has been a mentor on the Law Society’s mentor programme since 2011. Family and criminal law and civil litigation are amongst his practice areas.

Ms Mary Ellen Ring, S.C. was educated at UCD, DIT and the Kings Inns. She was called to the Bar in 1985 and to the Inner Bar in 2002. She was a Member of the National Crime Council between 1999 and  2005; a founding member of the Children’s Legal Centre; founding member of the Irish Association for the Study of Delinquency; and Chairperson the Irish Women Lawyers Association. Her practice areas include family and criminal law and civil litigation.

Judge David Riordan was educated at University College Cork, Kings Inns and Trinity College Dublin. He was called to the Bar in 1977, admitted as a Solicitor in 1984 and appointed as a Judge of the District Court in 1995. He is also a member of the District Court Rules Committee and the editorial board of the Judicial Studies Institute Journal.

Ms Carmel Stewart, S.C. was educated at University College Galway and Kings Inns. She was called to the Bar in 1987 and to the Inner Bar in 2008.  She was Vice Chairperson of the Employment Appeals Tribunal from 1993 until 1997; was a member of Mountjoy Visiting Committee between 1996 and 1999; former Director and Board member of Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC); member and former Chairperson of the Family Lawyer’s Association. Her practice areas include family law, mental health and wardship law.

 District Court nominations

Alan J. Mitchell, Solicitor was educated at University College Dublin and the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland. He is Principal Alan Mitchell & Co Solicitors. He is also a member of Longford County Council since 1999. His practice areas include criminal and family law and civil and personal injury litigation.

Eugene O’ Kelly, Solicitor was educated at University College Dublin, University College Galway, Incorporated Law Society and University College London. He is a member of Kilrush Chamber of Commerce and was President of the Clare Law Association in 1990. His practice includes criminal and family law and civil litigation.

Marie Quirke, Solicitor was educated at the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland. She is a member of the Regulation Committee of the Law Society and is a managing Solicitor at the Finglas Law Centre.  Her main area of practice is family law.

Kevin Staunton, Solicitor was educated the University of East London and Kings Inns. He worked as a civil Servant between 1980 and 1995. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1993 and the Irish Bar in 1995.  He runs a voluntary legal advice clinic for the Citizen’s Information Centre and his practice includes family law, criminal law and personal injury litigation.

Michael Walsh, Solicitor was educated at the Incorporated Law Society.  He is Principal at Walsh Warren & Co Solicitors and was previously a secondary school teacher from 1976 to 1978. His practice includes criminal and family law and civil and commercial litigation.

These appointments arise primarily from judicial retirements between September 2011 and February 2012 as well as the death last summer of His Hon Judge Con Murphy and the promotion to the High Court in October 2011 of His Hon Judge Michael White.

Three further nominations to the District Court will be made by the Government following permanent assignments to District Court Districts in the coming weeks.