He said that the Law Society position on the modernisation of judicial selection was both well-thought out and thoroughly researched.
It was the subject of an hour-long debate at council level and was passed by a vote from which there was not a single dissent.
He said the relationship between the Bar and the Law Society has never been better and will continue to thrive under the new environment that the Legal Services Regulatory Authority will bring.
President Gilhooly welcomed Dr Don Thornhill of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority along with acting chief executive Renee Dempsey and board member Angela Black. He wished them well in the onerous task of starting a new legal services body from scratch which he said was a huge undertaking.
“It is vital to us that we have a good working relationship with the LSRA, he said.
Joe Egan, the newly-installed President of the Law Society of England and Wales, was warmly welcomed as was the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, Minister of State for Justice David Stanton, and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy.
Guest of honour former Leinster, Ireland and Lions rugby player Shane Horgan joked that speaking before the distinguished audience was as intimidating as facing the Haka before playing the All-Blacks.
Among the judiciary in attendance were His Honour Judge John Alymer, Judge of the Circuit Court, The Honourable Mr Justice Bernard Barton, Judge of the High Court, The Honourable Mr Justice Frank Clarke of the Supreme Court, His Honour Judge Thomas O’Donnell and Attorney General Seamus Wolfe.
President Gilhooly acknowledged the role of Chief Justice Susan Denham over the past six years, saying she was a moderniser, a brilliant jurist and above all a lady who is courteous to her fingertips.
He said he was sorry that the Chief Justice couldn’t be in attendance but warmly praised her excellence and light touch as Chief Justice.
The guests heard that it is a matter of great happiness that virtually every one of the 173 guests who received an invitation was able to attend.