President and Council

The Law Society of Ireland is governed by a Council, comprising elected and nominated members of the solicitors’ profession. It also delegates statutory functions to a range of Committees.

council chamber

Aims of the Council

The purpose of the Council is identified in the Charter of 1852 to act “for the better rule and government of the Law Society, and for the better direction and management of the concerns thereof”. The statutory functions of the Law Society, as set out in the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2015, are exercised by the Council or by Committees to which the Council delegates those statutory functions. The Council represents the Law Society and its members both in the interests of the public and of the solicitors’ profession generally.

The Law Society has produced a helpful infographic to explain the make-up and work of the Council. Click on the image to view the full version.

infographic preview


Under its legislative framework, the Council of the Law Society is empowered to elect a President and Vice-Presidents from among the Council members elected in the annual national election. This is done at the Council meeting immediately following the Annual General Meeting in November of each year. Officers serve for a period of one year.

Council membership

The Council comprises 31 elected members, four provincial delegates and 13 nominated members from the Law Society of Northern Ireland, the Dublin Solicitors Bar Association and the Southern Law Association. Past Presidents are entitled to attend Council meetings for three years following their year of Presidency.

Fifty per cent of the elected Council are required to retire annually and elections are held to fill the vacancies arising, with successful candidates serving for a two-year period. The nominated members of the Council are appointed on an annual basis. 

Council of the Law Society - for the year ending 8 November 2024

President: Barry MacCarthy

Senior: Eamon Harrington
Junior: Martin Lawlor

Justine Carty
Niamh Counihan
Brendan Cunningham
Maura Derivan
Joan Doran
Paul Egan SC
Stuart Gilhooly SC
Dónal Hamilton
Richard Hammond SC
Bill Holohan SC
Siún Hurley
Áine Hynes SC
Paul Keane
Graham Kenny

Aidan Leahy
Gary Lee
Rosemarie Loftus
Susan Martin
Sonia McEntee
Kate McKenna
Brian McMullin
Fiona McNulty
Michele O’Boyle SC
Hilary O’Connor
Tony O’Sullivan
Valerie Peart
Brendan J. Twomey
Keith Walsh SC

Past Presidents

Michelle Ní Longáin

Provincial Delegates

Leinster: Sonya M. Lanigan
Munster: Shane McCarthy
Ulster: Garry Clarke
Connaught: David Higgins

Dublin Solicitors Bar Association Representatives 

Matthew Kenny
Avril Mangan
Paul Ryan

Southern Law Association Representatives

Robert Baker
Joan Byrne
John Fuller
Dermot Kelly
Veronica Neville

Law Society of Northern Ireland Representatives (from 29 November 2023)

Brian Archer
Colin Mitchell
Brigid Napier
Darren Toombs
Rowan White