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Family affair as former solicitor sworn in as Circuit Court judge
Chief Justice Frank Clarke, Judge John O'Connor and Judge Raymond Groarke

13 Feb 2019 / courts Print

Former solicitor sworn in as Circuit Court judge

There were happy celebrations when Judge John O’Connor was yesterday appointed to the Circuit Court, surrounded by family members.

From a distinguished legal family, Judge O’Connor’s mother and three brothers were also in attendance.

Brother Tom O’Connor is a corporate property lawyer at Maples and Calder while Mr Justice Tony O’Connor is a High Court judge and was formerly a senior counsel.

Solicitor Pat O’Connor has a busy practice in Swinford, Co Mayo and is also a past president of the Law Society of Ireland (1998-99).


His son William O’Connor, who also works at the family firm, was admitted to the roll in 2010 making it a fourth generation in the law.

Their proud mother Mrs Kay O’Connor was also at the ceremony. Her late husband Thomas V (Val) (1916-88) and his father Patrick (1874-1942) were also solicitors in the Mayo firm.

The firm was founded by Patrick in 1900 while Val was admitted to the roll in 1937.

Thomas V was Law Society President in 1972.


The Circuit Court vacancy arises following last month’s retirement of Judge Doirbhile Flanagan.

Judge John O'Connor was formerly a judge of the District Court and was a Law Society Council member for many years.

He was educated at University College Dublin, NUI Galway and at the Law Society.

Judge O’Connor enrolled as a solicitor in October 1980.

He became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 2008 and an accredited mediator the following year.

He was appointed to the District Court in 2012.


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