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Justice Mary Irvine to make her declaration on Friday
High Court President Justice Mary Irvine Pic: RollingNews.ie

19 Jun 2020 / courts Print

WATCH: Justice Irvine makes her declaration

Justice Mary Irvine attended Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday for her appointment as President of the High Court.

And her public declaration ceremony took place this afternoon in the Supreme Court, at 4.15pm.


She is the first person in the history of the state to have held four judicial offices:

  • Judge of the High Court,
  • Judge of the Court of Appeal,
  • Judge of the Supreme Court,
  • and now President of the High Court.

Justice Irvine is also the first woman to hold this new post of President of the High Court.

'Stay away'

Chief Justice Frank Clarke had asked that all members of the judiciary, the Bar and the solicitors’ profession, as well as members of the public, stay away from the declaration ceremony, for COVID-19 safety reasons.

This allowed the new High Court President to nominate some individuals to safely attend the declaration ceremony. 

In response, the Courts Service has issued a video of the proceedings, which can now be viewed here.

Justice Irvine was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in 2019. 

In the small photograph, she is pictured with Chief Justice Frank Clarke last September, speaking to secondary school pupils in Donegal by video-conference as part of a Supreme Court outreach programme.


Justice Irvine was born in Dublin and educated at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Mount Anville, Dublin 14, University College Dublin, and the Honourable Society of King's Inns.

She was called to the Bar of Ireland in 1978 and to the Inner Bar in 1996.

As a member of the Inner Bar, she specialised in medical law and was the legal assessor to the Fitness to Practice Committees of both the Medical Council and An Bord Altranais. 


While in practice, Justice Irvine was elected to the Bar Council and served as Secretary to the Council.

In 2004 she was elected a Bencher of the Honourable Society of King's Inns. 

Justice Irvine was appointed a judge of the High Court in 2007. As a judge of the High Court, she was in charge of the Personal Injuries list from 2009 to 2014 and was responsible for the management and determination of all garda compensation claims.

Following the retirement of Justice John Quirke, she chaired the Working Group on Medical Negligence and Periodic Payments established by the President of the High Court in 2010.

Medical negligence

This examined the system within the courts for the management of claims for damages arising out of alleged medical negligence and with a brief to identify shortcomings in that system. 

On its establishment in 2014, Justice Irvine was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal.

In 2018 she was appointed to chair the Cervical Check Tribunal established by the Government to hear and determine claims made outside of the court process arising from acts of negligence on the part of Cervical Check.

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