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Seven solicitors for bench, out of total of ten nominees

26 Jul 2023 / courts Print

Seven solicitors for bench, out of total of ten nominees

Several solicitors have been selected for appointment to the bench.

The nominated solicitors are:

  • Stephanie Coggans,
  • Fiona Brennan,
  • Catherine Hayden,
  • Philip O’Leary,
  • William Aylmer,
  • Adrian Harris, and
  • Michael Jnr Connellan.  

At its meeting yesterday (25 July) the Government also agreed to nominate Mr Justice Brian O’Moore of the High Court to the Court of Appeal.  

Barristers Nicola Jane Andrews, Monika Leech, Michael Ramsey have also been nominated as ordinary judges of the District Court.


The vacancy in the Court of Appeal follows the appointment of the Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly to the Supreme Court in June.

Eight of the ten nominations to the District Court arose because of investment in additional judges following the work of the Judicial Planning Working Group.

These eight judicial positions will see the number of District Court Judges increase from 63 to 71.

Two judicial vacancies arose due to the retirements of Judge Mary Emer Larkin on May 21 and Judge Dermot Simms on 29 May.  

Mr Justice Brian O’Moore was educated at Trinity College Dublin and called to the Bar in 1984. He was called to the Inner Bar in 1999 and appointed as a Judge of the High Court in December 2019.

Solicitor Stephanie Coggans was educated at Trinity College Dublin, 1985, and Law Society, 1992, and qualified as a solicitor in 1992. She is managing solicitor at the Legal Aid Board's Monaghan Law Centre.

Criminal law

Solicitor Fiona Brennan was educated at University of Galway, 1988, and qualified as a solicitor in 1993. She is a self-employed sole practitioner in criminal law.

Solicitor Catherine Hayden was educated at Trinity College Dublin, 1998, and the Law Society, and qualified as  a solicitor in 2006.

She is a senior associate in litigation and dispute resolution at A&L Goodbody LLP. 

Solicitor Philip O’Leary was educated at University College Cork, 1982, and the Law Society and qualified as a solicitor in 1985. He is currently chair of the Property Services Appeal Board.

Solicitor Adrian Harris was educated at University College Galway, 1992, and qualified as a solicitor in 1997. He is senior associate solicitor at Padhraic Harris and Co Solicitors. 

Solicitor William Aylmer was educated at University College Dublin and qualified as a solicitor in 1994. He is an external tutor and lecturer at the Law Society. 

Child and Family Agency

Solicitor Michael Jnr Connellan was educated at the University of Wales, 1995, and qualified as a solicitor in 2000. He is general manager solicitor at the Child and Family Agency. 

Barrister Nicola Jane Andrews (UCD 2000, King’s Inns, 2004) was called to the Bar in 2004. 

Barrister Monika Leech (University College Dublin, 1988, Law Society, 1991 and King’s Inns, 1999) qualified as a solicitor in 1992 and was called to the Bar in 1999. Leech is also part of the Bar of Ireland Afghan Judge Support Group. 

Barrister Michael Ramsey was educated at Queen’s University Belfast, 1986, Salve Regina University (USA) 1990, and King’s Inns, 1995.

He was called to the Bar in 1995. Ramsey is a member of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal, and was appointed to a panel of junior counsel at the office of the Attorney General. 

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