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The Hon. Mr. Justice Donal O'Donnell

The Hon. Mr. Justice Donal O'Donnell

Chief Justice of Ireland

The Hon. Mr. Justice Donal O’Donnell was appointed the 13th Chief Justice of Ireland on the 11th October, 2021, by the President of Ireland, His Excellency Mr. Michael D. Higgins. 

Mr. Justice Donal O’Donnell was born in Belfast and educated at St. Mary’s C.B.S., University College Dublin (B.C.L.)., the Honorable Society of King’s Inns (B.L.) and the University of Virgina (LL.M). 

Mr. Justice O’Donnell was called to The Bar of Ireland in 1982, commenced practice in 1983 and was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1989. In 1995, he was appointed a Senior Counsel and has practised in all of the Courts of Ireland, in the Court of Justice of the European Union and in the European Court of Human Rights. 

Mr. Justice O’Donnell was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in 2010. He was a member of the Law Reform Commission from 2005 to 2012. Lectures he has delivered include the John Kelly lecture (U.C.D), the Brian Walsh lecture (I.S.E.L.), the Brian Lenihan lecture (T.C.D.), the Dan Binchy lecture (Brehon Law School) and the keynote address at a conference at the University of Limerick to mark the 80th anniversary of the Constitution of Ireland. 

He has published articles on a variety of legal topics in publications including the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, the Irish Jurist, the Dublin University Law Journal, the Judicial Studies Journal, and has contributed to volumes of essays on legal issues. He was director of Our Lady’s Hospice from 2009 to 2014. He was a Council member of the Irish Legal History Society from 2018 to 2021 and is now a Joint Patron of the Society. He is an Honorary members of the Society of Legal Scholars. 

As Chief Justice, Mr. Justice O’Donnell is a member of the Council of State, the Presidential Commission, Chair of the Board of the Courts Service and Chair of the Judicial Council.

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