The managing solicitor of the Legal Aid Board, Colm Roberts, has been nominated to become a judge of the District Court. The decision was made by the Cabinet before Christmas, and has just been announced by the Courts Service.
Colm is a BCL graduate from UCD. He also holds an LLM from the University of Northumbria in child care law and proportionality.
He is also a long-standing member of the Family Lawyers’ Association.
Senior counsel Paul Burns has also been nominated as an ordinary judge of the High Court to fill the vacancy arising from the elevation of Mr Justice Donald Binchy to the Court of Appeal.
Barrister Helen Boyle is being appointed as an ordinary judge of the Circuit Court. This vacancy arises following the retirement of Judge Susan Ryan, who retired from the bench last Friday.
It will be remember that Judge Ryan refused to leave a Dublin courtroom during a family law sitting on 22 December 2018, when confronted by a man claiming to have a bomb and a gun.
Judge Susan Ryan had been presiding over a case at a family law court at Phoenix House,
Smithfield, involving the man’s ex-wife, when he entered, reached into a bag, and took out what appeared to be a handgun.
He then opened his coat to reveal a device around his neck, which he claimed was a bomb.
He ordered everyone except for his ex-wife and her lawyer to leave the court.
The court registrar left to raise the alarm, but Judge Ryan opted to stay, attempting to calm the situation until the arrival of the gardaí, which included an armed response unit. The man surrendered within half an hour.
The incident led to a review of security procedures at family court sittings by senior gardaí and the chief executive of the Courts Service.