COURTS SERVICE NEWS New Courthouses Review of 2018 Festive features - NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA - Courts.ie
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COURTS SERVICE NEWS ISSUE 4 DECEMBER 2018 | WWW.COURTS.IE NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA • New Courthouses • Review of 2018 • Festive features
COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 CONTENTS 07 13 05 08 10 REGULARS Law Society success at Gael Linn 2018.....................11 Welcome Note............................................................03 UCD wins National Moot............................................11 Appointments.............................................................16 New head of Directorate............................................12 Retirements...............................................................18 Tribute to late judge Grainne O’Neill.........................13 Through the lens........................................................24 SOCIAL FEATURES Film Reviews..............................................................20 Christmas Messages.................................................04 Christmas Recipe.......................................................23 Look Back at 2018......................................................05 Book Reviews.............................................................22 Quiz............................................................................23 NEWS Social Media in Court.................................................08 Mullingar Courthouse................................................09 Coming to a School near you.....................................10 WW1 Exhibition..........................................................10
COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 3 WELCOME FÁILTE Courts Service News is the magazine of the Courts Service. Contributions are drawn from a wide area and do not necessarily reﬂect the views or policies of the Courts Service. The editors reserve the right to edit all contributions. Courts Service News, Information Office, 15-24 Phoenix Street North, Smithfield, Dublin 7. Telephone (01) 888 6459 Email courtsservicenews@ courts.ie Web www.courts.ie WELCOME TO THE DECEMBER ISSUE OF Editorial Team COURTS SERVICE NEWS Helen Priestley, John Whelan, Gerry Curran, As we approach the end of another fruitful year for the Courts Service we head towards a new Brian Stephens. year with even brighter prospects. Our review of the year (pages 5-7) looks back at the completion of a major Public Private Design and Print Partnership project which saw investment in court buildings like never before (page 5). We Hacketts, continued to strive for improvements on the ICT side of things as we look to provide more services 17 Lower Baggot Street, for the benefit of all who use the courts (page 6). Dublin 2, Ireland Deirdre Doyle updates us on a busy year for Learning and Development (page 6) while Denise firstname.lastname@example.org Cole updates us on the latest developments in HR (page 7). www.hackettdigital.ie Our outreach programme maintained its success with over 3,000 students visiting the Criminal Courts of Justice in 2018 (page 7). If you would like to contribute an article, a book or film We take a closer look at the rules announced by Chief Justice Frank Clarke restricting the use of review, please contact social media in the courtroom (page 8). the editorial team at email@example.com An exhibition was held in the Four Courts to mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and the 25 barristers who died in WWI (page 10). We meet the new head of Circuit and District Court Operations Peter Mullan (page 12) and remember the late Judge Gráinne O’Neill with the unveiling of a picture in the Criminal Courts of Justice (page 13). The legal community in Limerick took to the stage to raise money for charity by dancing. See if you spot a familiar face (page 14). Our traditional Christmas features include an article encouraging you to reach out to someone this Christmas (page 15). We have book reviews (page 22), movie reviews (page 20-21), a delicious recipe (page 23) and a chance to win a One4All voucher in our annual quiz (page 23). We have our usual features of Appointments (page 16-17), Retirements (page 18-19) and Practice and Procedures (page 14). We wish all our readers a happy and healthy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. We look forward to hearing from you in 2019 as we edge towards the 20th birthday of the Courts Service. The Courts Service News Team
4 COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 CHRISTMAS MESSAGES FROM THE FROM THE CHIEF JUSTICE CHIEF EXECUTIVE The dark, cold and wet days which mark the end of Christmas gives us time to step back, slow down the year give us cause both to reflect on the year and relax. Time to appreciate what is important to gone by, to look forward to the new year ahead but us and to be grateful for those we share our lives also the opportunity to enjoy a well-earned break with. Time also to fondly remember those family for the festivities of Christmas and New Year. members and work colleagues who have passed on but remain very much in our memories. The past year has, as always, been an eventful one for those of us in the Courts Service but it We share much of our time during the year with has, perhaps, been most characterised by the our work colleagues. Christmas is a time to spend beginning of a process which will hopefully lead to some added time with our families. As the year a significant improvement in the way in which we ends we can look back on another year of great all work and deliver our services to the community. endeavour for the Courts Service. The official After many years of stagnant or even reduced opening of several major and truly impressive finances we have experienced the beginning of courthouses around the country endorsed our the allocation of additional, and vital, resources contribution to the built heritage of our country. to enable us to advance many projects which have We made great progress in the HR area with staff been under consideration for a long time. learning and development continuing to be high on our agenda. We used additional ICT funding In the past year much effort has been concentrated to press ahead with more online services and on identifying and planning for those changes improved technology in the courtroom. which we have all known for some time are sorely needed. Hopefully, the New Year will begin to see My genuine thanks and appreciation as ever to my concrete plans being adopted and the beginning of colleagues in the Courts Service for another year the implementation of much needed reforms. of outstanding effort and support - for the courts, for each other, and for court users in every court But this holiday season is also a time to thank all of and county. Thanks also to the judiciary and to the those who have done so much to make the system wider justice community for their support and co- work over many years of austerity and to suggest operation. that we can, at least in this holiday season, enjoy a well-earned break from work with the prospect of To all readers of Courts Service News I extend my more favourable conditions to come. best wishes for the festive season. May we all enjoy a well deserved break and look forward to all On my own behalf I would wish to extend to the that 2019 promises. entire justice community of judges, Courts Service staff, practitioners, Gardaí, prison and probation Brendan Ryan personnel and all of the support services we experience in our court work throughout the year, every good wish for the Holiday Season and the Most Prosperous and Healthy New Year. Frank Clarke
COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 5 LOOK BACK AT 2018 It was a year of completions, improvements and developments. Staff learning and development continued to be high on our Courthouse building projects were completed in Letterkenny, agenda with lots of news from our Learning & Development Wexford, Limerick, Waterford and Cork. And as the year came Unit. And we witnessed a new approach to human resource to an end the magnificently refurbished courthouse in Mullingar management and recruitment as staff with lots of HR experience was officially opened. outside the Courts Service joined existing HR staff. In the ICT area, there were improvements in online services with We continued to reach out to the community by opening our the e-Licensing project and the online Bankruptcy Register, and courthouses for various public initiatives and by engaging with we started a project to redevelop our website. school and other groups to encourage all to visit and learn how the courts system works. BUILDINGS The Chief Justice and Minister for Justice & Equality travelled the country to officially open impressive new court buildings during the year. Letterkenny, Wexford and Limerick opened for business early in 2018. The new facilities in Letterkenny and Wexford have four court rooms and will hear a mix of civil, family and criminal cases. The new courthouse in Limerick has six courtrooms and will mainly Drogheda Letterkenny be a centre for criminal justice. Waterford Mullingar Waterford Courthouse benefited from a €26 million refurbishment and was officially opened in April. Attention turned to Cork at the end of May as the magnificent courthouse incorporating the former Model School in Anglesea Street opened following a Anglesea Street Court House €35 million refurbishment. The final project in the current bundle was in Mullingar which was officially Limerick opened on 23rd November. Wexford
6 COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 LOOK BACK AT 2018 DOING BUSINESS ON-LINE: OUR ECOURTS JOURNEY CONTINUES The Courts Service strategy to and of the Council of 20 May 2015. Information on every bankrupt provide additional online services in Ireland, back to 1922, is now freely available online – The for the benefit of all who use our register can be accessed at www.csol.ie. courts continued during the year. Redesign of courts.ie E-Licensing A project to redevelop the courts.ie website began in October. This project provides the facility The new site will be designed to deliver a more customer- to apply for licence applications centred approach to content, instead of the traditional business/ on-line, electronic notification of operations approach. It will designed for use on multiple notice parties and an electronic platforms, including mobile devices. Licence Register. The roll out to District and Circuit Court offices continued with 29 out of 34 court offices now using the Courts Service On-line Portal: www.csol.ie for licensing applications. A pilot of the online application commenced in September with four solicitors’ offices in Louth, Sligo and Donegal. The pilot marked a milestone in electronic filing and payment of court applications entered by solicitors. eBankruptcy Register The Bankruptcy Register Online was developed during the year as part of the changes required to National Insolvency Registers included in Regulation (EU) 2015/848 of the European Parliament BUSY YEAR FOR LEARNING AND DEVELOPING development academy. We are also developing a programme for clerical officers and a bespoke customer service programme”. We delivered a pilot expanded induction programme, and developed a health and wellbeing programme which supports the new Health and Wellbeing policy which was launched in October. Both of these initiatives represent a renewed focus by the organisation on supporting and enabling our staff. Deirdre says that her unit were delighted that so many staff accessed the refund of fees scheme this year. The scheme supports staff to gain qualifications in areas relevant to the Pictured at the launch of the Wellbeing policy were (l to r) :Courts business of the Courts Service. “We had 34 staff gaining Service CEO,Brendan Ryan, Head of Learning and Development, qualifications in areas including public management, law, Deirdre Doyle, L & D, Denise Clarkin, Director of Headstrong, project management, leadership and strategy, human resources Dr. Tony Bates, Head of H.R. Denise Cole, FÓRSA Assistant and governance”. General Secretary George Maybury and Communications Trainer, Micheline Egan For the second year the Courts Service sponsored delegates to attend the ‘Young Ireland’ programme. A joint venture with It was onwards and upwards for the Courts Service Learning the ‘Young Scotland’ Programme, this initiative aims to improve and Development Unit with over 2,000 training days delivered communication skills, networking, broaden horizons and during the year. “We built on the current learning provision with develop confidence in staff who are in the early stages of the development and delivery of a number of new programmes”, their careers. Head of L&D Deirdre Doyle told us recently. “We delivered a pilot two day induction programme for registrars, and a pilot three day The award winning online learning management system, L&D development programme for executive officers, and we introduced Connect, celebrated a year in operation in October. “Over 800 an executive leadership programme and a management staff accessed the system in that year”, says Deirdre.
COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 7 LOOK BACK AT 2018 HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPS A NEW APPROACH Putting that intent into action has been Management, and Employment Law. A very challenging, particularly in the years focus has been placed on using social when resources were restricted and staff media over print media for the advertising numbers reduced. The provision of extra of open competitions, using platforms resources and the engagement of staff with such as Linkedin and Facebook for more HR qualifications has enabled the Courts strategic and targeted recruitment Service focus once again on this most vital campaigns. This has allowed for access to of activities. We are committed to providing a broader talent pool, whilst increasing the the Service with a well-resourced, expert organisation’s online presence. and optimally performing service, and with that have recently welcomed two new To ensure we have a pipeline of talent Senior HR Business Partners, Lindsey we have developed clerical and executive Maidment and Edmund O’Reilly. officer academies that will be introduced Denise Cole, Head of Human Resources in 2019. New staff will be recruited in fills us in on what’s been happening in HR All staff members in Human Resources cohorts, and on commencement will attend during 2018. continue to pursue their professional three weeks of intensive training. The staff development, studying and attaining from these academies will provide backfill The development of staff is a major element qualifications Human Resources support for training, unforeseen absences of all Courts Service Strategic Plans. Practice (CIPD), Data Analytics, Project and family friendly initiatives. OUTREACH Open House Open House, held in October, gave the public further opportunity to visit School Visits courthouses. Large crowds The Courts Service continued to invite turned out to explore both the schools, third level students and many Four Courts and the Criminal other groups to come visit the courts in Courts of Justice. 2018. Over 3,000 students visited the Criminal Courts of Justice where they Other events took part in mock trials and learned how Clifden Courthouse was the courts operate. We also welcomed the venue for a talk by international groups from across Europe internationally acclaimed and the United States. Irish artist Brian Maguire as The new courthouse in Letterkenny, part of the Clifden Arts Festival 2018. Co. Donegal joined the Culture Night programme. Visitors were invited on an The Carlow Witch trial, part of ‘Scarefest’ after-hours guided tour of the building. which took place in Carlow Courthouse in The Tours were conducted by Geoffrey late October, turned out to be a fantastic McGonagle, Letterkenny Courts Service night. Courts Service Carlow manager Office Manager and Liam Devenney, Andy Cleary stated “It was a great Service Officer. There was a great turnout opportunity for the general public to see and the tours will likely become an annual the inside of the courthouse. We would event. be delighted to be involved in any similar Culture Night project in the future”. The tradition of opening court venues to Ennistymon Courthouse, Co. Clare, now the public for non-court business is a well- known as the Courthouse Gallery, hosted established one and courthouses in Cork various different cultural events including and Donegal opened for Culture Night in a film screening of ‘The Silver Branch’ September. while Oughterard Courthouse, Co. Galway hosted a communal painting session and Washington Street Courthouse, Cork was a fusion of classical and traditional music the venue for the UCC Players’ production concert. Former Courthouses in Roscrea, of Agatha Christie’s play Witness for the Tinahealy and Clones were also busy on Prosecution. Judge Michael Pattwell Culture Night. (retired District Court judge) played Sir Wilfrid Roberts, counsel for the defence.
8 COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 NEWS... LIMITING THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE COURTROOM The Chief Justice recently told journalists of the difficulties some use of social media is having on court cases. Emphasising the right to a fair trial, he announced a new practice direction limiting the use of live text and message based communications from court to bone fide members of the media and lawyers. Other personnel such as prisoner officers and Gárdai may use texts to help manage the business of the court only. Others in court will be unable to text or message from the courtroom – in any form. “If the experience of the operation of this practice direction provides evidence that it needs to be reinforced by new legislation, we will ask for this to be considered”, the Chief Justice added. Responsible media The Chief Justice said that the print and broadcast media have given very little cause for concern in how they report and comment on court cases. In general they do so honestly, diligently and with great skill. They apply a restraint that stops them entering the arena by disparaging the intent of the court or focusing on claims not heard in court, shouting from the side- lines - trying to influence the referee as it were. That referee can be either a judge or a jury. Contempt law rightly attempts to prevent such influence. False claims from others “We must acknowledge that some concerns over social media are both widespread and real. There are genuine concerns over the dissemination of false and malicious claims which damage social debate, learning, and understanding. Such false claims Pictured at a journalism seminar in the Criminal Courts can come just as much from the organised and powerful as of Justice were (l to r): President of the National Union of they can from the single contrarian in a basement, or a ‘hobby Journalists Sian Jones, NUJ Irish Secretary Seamus Dooley journalist’ in a court room. and Chief Justice Frank Clarke Bullying and dangers online “Despite the great good social media brings to many areas of Integrity of a fair trial life and society, such as the banishment of isolation, or providing “The key legitimate concern of the courts is to ensure the a link to the past or to those distant, false claims can target integrity of the trial process and the maintenance of a fair trial the individual to the detriment of their reputation, health, and system. The potential for unregulated social media to have or even existence. Online lies and bullying can and have led to an impact on the fairness of the trial process itself is, in my death for some. view, a legitimate and particular concern of the judiciary. To date it has been rare that courts in Ireland have had to use There are also dedicated and organised attempts at damaging contempt of court laws to curb inaccurate and disruptive online others, from both those with an interest in maintaining the communications about cases. But it would be extremely naïve of status quo and those who seek to disrupt power. In some us not to plan for the future in this regard. There is a need for respects social media is a democratisation of influence. In other guidance and rules on use of social media and digital devices in respects it is a challenge to democracy if anyone seeks to own or the courts. This extends to the use of social media by observers control much of social media as the new public sphere”. of a case, and to a lesser extent the use of same by jurors”.
COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 9 NEWS... MULLINGAR COURTHOUSE: MODERN AND HISTORIC VENUE IN REFURBISHMENT Courthouse facilities: adaptation and extension The Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council John Dolan said that the adaptation and extension of the existing Mullingar Courthouse building has allowed the Courts Service to provide appropriate modern facilities for a historic county town, while contributing to its ongoing regeneration and evolution. “The building provides significantly improved courthouse facilities for all its users and allows the continued use of the building for its original purpose and consolidates civic uses in this part of the town”. Courts Service CEO Brendan Ryan, President of the Circuit Court Facilities include three courtrooms and a new public office. The Mr Justice Raymond Groarke and Chief Justice Frank Clarke family law courtroom is on a new floor which did not exist in the with staff of the Mullingar Office original courthouse. User facilities include a vulnerable witness suite, victim support room, legal practitioner’s room, enhanced Speaking at the recent opening of the new courthouse in custody facilities, media room, jury rooms, consultation rooms Mullingar, Chief Justice Frank Clarke said “The new courthouse is and other support facilities. The courtrooms are all accessible. built to reflect the best of current thinking on courthouse design, All circulation routes within the building – public, staff/judiciary, insofar as it is possible within the confines of an historic building. custody and jury are fully accessible. It is designed and built to be, as far as possible in an historic building, universally accessible. This is important to those with mobility difficulties and as a symbol of the accessibility of justice in our community. I congratulate and thank all who were involved in this project”, he said. Emma Potts, Estate Managment Unit, Chief Justice Frank Clarke, Minister for Justice and Equality Charles Flanagan, Paul Former District Court Clerks in Mullingar Courthouse : Elisha Burns, Head of Infrastructure Services Directorate and Cillian D’Arcy, Mick Dorrigan and Pat Kelly Smith, EMU FOUR COURTS DOME REFURBISHMENT CONTINUES repair work on a recent visit high up on the Significant work has been carried out iconic landmark. As previously reported, on the roof at dome level. These works a lot of the work, which is managed by the included cleaning and repairing granite OPW, centres on repairing the damaged stone, replacing copper sheeting and capitals on the exterior of the dome. In installation of safety systems for future total there are 24 capitals, these are maintenance. the top of the columns that support the dome. Two were replaced in 2017 and An engineer has now been appointed one is being carved in Scotland at the for the next phase which will commence moment and will replace another capital in January 2019. This work will include in 2019. The replacement capitals are more capital replacements, removal and As refurbishment of the Four Courts made from Portland stone and each weigh replacement of the steel band around the dome continues, Courts Service News was approximately 800kg. dome and soffit stone repairs. privileged to get an up-close look at the
10 COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 NEWS... THE COURTS SERVICE – COMING TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU Our HR Unit has been visiting a number of universities and secondary schools as part of our mission to promote the Courts Service as an employer of choice and to encourage school leavers to consider a career in law. Recruitment Manager Lindsey Maidment tells us more: In October we attended careers fairs in universities promoting the judicial assistant role within the Courts Service. We were accompanied by some of our new judicial assistant recruits who could explain first-hand the role and career options available from this post. St. Pauls Secondary School in Greenhills, Dublin invited us to attend their inaugural careers evening on 16th October. Lindsey Maidment, HR (far left) and Denise Cole, Head of HR The evening provided the students with an opportunity to (far right) with students in St. Paul’s Secondary School. discuss career and college options with former students who have progressed to third level and to speak directly to a wide In November, we were invited to attend a careers day selection of third level institutions. The Courts Service was the in Portmarnock Secondary School, Dublin. This event only employer to have a stand at the event and we discussed provided the students with an opportunity to connect with the diverse career opportunities available in our organisation. representatives from a wide range of professions including a It was evident from our discussions that their regular barrister, a solicitor and An Garda Síochána. Engagement with participation in the Courts Service School Visit programme these professionals helps to actualise in the students’ mind and other Transition Year initiatives has opened up their eyes to that education can take them places they had never thought of. a career in law. We look forward to attending similar events in 2019. NEW EXHIBITION REMEMBERS WW1 BARRISTERS The Chief Justice joined the Lord Chief The exhibition, which includes Justice of Northern Ireland to launch an photographs of the barristers, is on view exhibition in the Four Courts to remember alongside the memorial sculpture which the 25 barristers who died in World War 1. names them. It was launched during a remembrance ceremony to mark the 100-year anniversary of Armistice Day. The Chief Justice said that “we are honoured to commemorate those brave and heroic members of the Irish Bar that fought in World War 1. It is only proper to acknowledge their selfless service in pursuit of peace”. World War 1 had a profound and far- reaching impact on the Irish Bar. The Irish Law Times War Supplement of 1916 numbered 126 barristers as enlisted which amounted to 42% of the total Irish Bar membership of 300. In addition, 160 sons of barristers enlisted in the War. One of the posters detailing the stark The existing memorial statistics
COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 11 NEWS... LAW SOCIETY WINS BRÉAGCHÚIRT UÍ DHÁLAIGH GAEL LINN 2018 The Irish language moot court, Bréagchúirt Uí Dhálaigh, took place in the Four Courts on 9th November, with first prize going to Law Society team, Áine Haberlin and Feidhlim Mac Róibín. This long-standing event is organized annually by Gael Linn in memory of the late Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, former President and Chief Justice of Ireland. Competing this year were teams from University College Dublin, Dublin City University and The Law Society of Ireland. The delighted winners received a cheque for €600 along with the Gael Linn Perpetual Trophy, while the runners-up Caoimhín Ó Ceallaigh and Tommy MacDiarmada of University College Dublin received a cheque for €300. Gael Linn thanked barristers Cormac Ó Dúlacháin, Daithí Mac Cárthaigh and solicitor Pól Ó Murchú, for their continued support for the competition, and barrister Kate Ní Chonfhaola, who helped organize Pictured (l to r): Majella Ní Thuama BL, Luan Ó Braonáin, S.C., Feidhlim Mac Róibín and the event. Lead-up. They also Áine Haberlin, winners of Breágchúirt Uí Dhálaigh 2018, Antoine Ó Coileáin, Gael Linn acknowledged the support of Kings Chief Executive and Séamus Ó Tuathail, S.C. Inns and the Courts Service. UCD WIN NATIONAL MOOT COURT COMPETITION University College Dublin Sutherland School of Law won the National Moot Court Competition recently held in the Criminal Courts of Justice. They faced a stiff challenge from their Dublin City University opponents in the final. DCU were the official hosts of this year’s competition sponsored by Matheson. The final was judged by Ms. Justice Elizabeth Dunne, Mr. Justice Tony O’Connor and Christine Simpson (associate solicitor from Matheson) and the team of Mark O’Brien O’Reilly and Mark Gilmore were victorious.
12 COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 NEWS... NEW HEAD OF DIRECTORATE READY FOR THE CHALLENGE Earlier this year Peter Mullan, formerly an Assistant Secretary on resources and can be complicated and may take time.” with the Dept. of Justice & Equality, joined the Courts Service His perception of the Courts Service has changed since he as Head of Circuit Court and District Court Operations. Peter arrived. He now appreciates the “the size and complexity of the is a well-known figure in the Dublin legal community, having organisation. There are 5-600 people in the Circuit and District spent over 20 years as a solicitor undertaking defence work, area alone, in the 33 offices outside Dublin. It is an enormous and then as the Chief Prosecution Solicitor in the Office of organisation. Even the number of courtrooms we operate and the DPP. More recently he felt it was time to offer himself to the level of ICT challenges after ten years of limited resources. public service in a different way. The sheer scale of all this became obvious to me when I joined the Service”. He says that he enjoys “undertaking something which is bigger than yourself, something with challenges. I didn’t see myself as Peter is almost half way through his visits to court offices a public servant in my future just as I hadn’t seen myself being around the country which he sees as a vital task of his new a solicitor. I only tend to look at career in terms of the next 2-3 role. By travelling he sees the difference between the sizes and years”. styles of offices and the huge areas of activity they cover. He is also keenly aware of the turnover in staff with some areas He feels the change to the CPS was not huge, but that the having 50% plus staff with less than two years’ experience. public policy issues, which his change to the Dept brought, He acknowledges the loss of institutional wisdom but sees it made him realise “you could try to solve bigger problems. As as also bringing “a new and more youthful energy, with many a solicitor you do your best for your client. As a public servant coming into the service enormously well qualified”. you are dealing with ideas and demands. When you get it right, you can leave things better than before”. On changes to service delivery he notes that although “we work in a conservative profession there is a huge willingness to accept e-filing and other ICT changes. There is a need for big investment in this area and a window of opportunity at the moment with extra monies available”. He feels that as regards the Courts Service the “seeds of change are sown”. He is very conscious that staff are aware of the need for change, and that this is acknowledged by managers across the organisation”. OTHER STAFF CHANGES AT SENIOR LEVEL Peter Mullan’s appointment as Head of Circuit Court and District Court Directorate was one of a number of senior Courts Service appointments during the year. Alice White was promoted from Assistant Principal in the Central Office of the High Court to Principal Officer in the same office in January. Kevin Fidgeon was promoted from Assistant Principal in C&D Operations to the Superiors Courts Directorate in the Probate Office in June. Their appointments brought to seven the number of As a court user himself for over 20 years he brings a principal officers appointed from a panel established perspective of the solicitor and those appearing in court to his following a competition in 2015. The other appointments role in the Courts Service. In the Department of Justice he got were Audrey Leonard, Shay Keary, Patricia Troy, Cillian an idea of others demands on the Service but now that he is Smith and Mary Kelly. here “I realise that even simple changes can have huge effects
COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 13 NEWS... MIGRATING GEESE A FITTING TRIBUTE TO THE LATE JUDGE O’NEILL Friends, family and colleagues of the late because she respected everyone in it. We District Court Judge Gráinne O’Neill were will come by this way every morning on our in attendance at the unveiling of a painting way to court and it will act as an inspiration in her memory on the 8th Floor of the to us if we have a difficult day.” Criminal Courts of Justice recently. The print is by Kelvin Mann, a New Zealander Terry O’Neill thanked those who organised based in Dublin since 1997. the print and said it was very special to them. He said the image of wild geese President of the District Court, Judge was a reminder of Judge O’Neill’s travels Rosemary Horgan welcomed Judge and spoke fondly of the cards the family O’Neill’s father Terry O’Neill (Col. Retired), received from all over the world extending brother Olaf, sister Fiona, sister in law their sympathies. Christina, brother in law Alan and her nephews Harry and Simon. She also Judge Colin Daly thanked Courts Service welcomed Frances McVeigh, widow of CEO Brendan Ryan, Criminal Courts Judge Derek McVeigh whom Judge O’Neill of Justice Manager Tom Ward, Head of was apprenticed to as a young solicitor. Judicial Support Unit Elisha D’Arcy and Friends of Judge O’Neill, Garda Inspector Dolores Moore for their assistance. He also Ollie Baker, Tony O’Donoghue and Rachel to have a mix of work and any opportunity thanked his colleagues from the District Maher also attended. to discover Ireland and all of its court Judges Association Judge Bryan Smyth, locations. Judge Ann Ryan, Judge Deirdre Gearty and Judge Marie Keane for their help in Then there were dispatches on her making it happen. many cycling tours of the Burren and Ring of Kerry; and her constant awe and admiration of secretary to the President of the District Court, Dolores Moore. “Although it was a short time as a judge she made her mark. She is missed but we Judge Bryan Smyth unveils the print on the 8 th Floor of the CCJ celebrate her life and the foot print she left on all of our lives” said President Horgan President Horgan said it was a total before she called on Judge Bryan Smyth to honour to give tribute to her late colleague unveil the print. and friend and a print of geese migrating was “a metaphor if ever there was one Judge Ann Ryan said she only knew Judge for the life of a moveable judge”. She O’Neill for the four years she was on the recalled Judge O’Neill’s dispatches from bench but felt like she knew her a lot “She Judge Gráinne O’Neill died in May 2018 around the country saying she was happy commanded fantastic respect for her court aged 47 years. BRIAN JOINS OUR EDITORIAL TEAM We are delighted to welcome Brian Stephens to our editorial team for this issue of Courts Service News. Brian is in his final year of a BA (Hons) in Marketing and Digital Media degree programme at Waterford Institute of Technology Business School. His placement with the Courts Service has enabled him learn about the court system and most particularly assist with projects including website development, digital publications and outreach. “I’d like to thank everyone at the Courts Service for being so welcoming to me. The placement was such a great experience as it gave me the opportunity to get a real insight into how the court structure works but also enabled me to work closely on projects which will benefit me going forward”, Brian says. We wish Brian every success with his future career.
14 COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 NEWS... STRICTLY LEGAL EAGLES Charleston, Salsa and Jive. Judges on the night were District Judge Mary Emer Larkin, District Judge Marion O’Leary and retired District Judge Aeneas McCarthy. The show was MC’d by Will Leahy (solicitor) of RTE and Declan Copues BL of Limerick’s Live 95FM. The winners were Elizabeth Walsh and Ger O’Neill who performed a fantastic Argentine tango. The night finished off with a few beverages and we celebrated into the wee small hours. There have been promises of keeping up the dancing and a couple of us have started dance classes with our dance instructor for the show, Bridget Harte. The entire ensemble of Strictly Legal Eagles We look forward to a reunion night when Hilary McSweeney of Limerick Court Office Niamh White (Elizabeth Walsh & Co), we will get to see the show on DVD and reports on a great initiative that kept her, and Rachel Meehan (Meehan & Co), and reminisce on our 15 minutes of fame. others, on their toes for a very worthy cause: Maria Riordan (Limerick Court Office) were on hand to assist Derek and make On 1st November members of the Limerick all the arrangements for the dancers of Solicitors’ Bar Association, barristers of our 6-8 weeks of training and running the South Western Circuit, Courts Service the event on the night. As Derek said, staff and law students of University of all the dancers were used to courtrooms Limerick donned their dancing shoes to but very few were used to ballrooms and woo the crowds at the South Court Hotel it was outside all of our comfort zones. in Limerick City. All monies raised will Nonetheless we embraced the challenge go to two worthy charities, the Children’s and had some great fun, particularly at Grief Centre and Mid-Western Cancer the group dance lessons and practices. Foundation. The night commenced with a group routine performance. Each couple then did an Derek Walsh of Keating Connolly Sellors individual routine which ranged from Hillary McSweeney, Courts Service and Solicitors convinced 19 more of us to take Argentine Tango, Freestyle, Samba, Strictly Bryan Sheehan, David Sheehan and Co. part. The organising committee of Ballroom, Latin mix, Jitterbug, Lindy on stage PRACTICE & PROCEDURE These rules amend the Rules of 59A (Civil Partnership and Certain the Superior Courts to facilitate Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants SUPERIOR COURTS the operation of Part IVB (Periodic Act 2010) S.I. 428 of 2018 Payments Orders) of the Civil Liability S.I. 429 of 2018 Rules of the Superior Courts (Appeals Act 1961, as inserted by section 2 of the Circuit Court Rules (Proof of Foreign from the Circuit Court) 2018 Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 2017. Public Documents and Translations) These Rules amend the Superior Court 2018 Rules by the substitution in rule 5 of CIRCUIT COURT Order 110 and by the substitution of S.I. 427 of 2018 These Rules amend Order 23 of the Forms 1, 2 and 3 in Appendix I. Circuit Court Rules (Family Law) 2018 Circuit Court Rules to provide for the S.I. 430 of 2018 These Rules amend the Circuit Court various methods of authentication of Rules of the Superior Courts (Personal Rules by substituting Order 59 (Family documents completed in or issuing Injuries: Periodic Payment Orders) 2018 Law) and substituting rule 39 of Order from foreign countries.
COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 15 NEWS... REACH OUT TO SOMEONE THIS CHRISTMAS The festive season is fast approaching, and while for many it’s the most wonderful time of year, others find it difficult. For those who have recently experienced bereavement, a separation, depression or problems with alcohol, Christmas can be a particularly challenging and often lonely time. If you know someone who appears to be struggling, is frequently anxious, short- tempered or low and depressed, consider reaching out to them this Christmas. It is not necessary to be an expert in mental health to start a conversation with a colleague, friend or loved one. Here are some tips that might help. • Find a suitable place, ideally outside • Ask open questions: – What support do • Avoid clichés. Comments like ‘pull of the office; perhaps a café or go for a you have in place? What would you like yourself together’ or ‘what will be, will walk. to happen in this situation?” be’ are not helpful. • The conversation could be started with • Use positive body language, and • Don’t make the conversation about you: a simple ‘How are you?’ Once a person encourage the person to continue with avoid saying things like ‘I know how you knows they are being given the space small verbal comments like ‘I see’ or feel’ or ‘The same thing happened to and time to talk, they often will. ‘what happened next?’ me.’ • Actively listen to the person, and give • Check your understanding by • The important thing is to listen, rather them your undivided attention. Keep paraphrasing what the person has said than give advice, the individual needs to your phone switched on silent and back to them. be able to act for themselves. refrain from looking at your watch. • Respond by using empathetic • Be reassuring and signpost them to • Don’t interrupt - try to leave any statements such as: “I appreciate this support such as LawCare, HR, another questions or comments you may have must be difficult for you…” colleague or suggest they visit their GP. until the person has finished. If you are worried about a colleague you Law Care supports and promotes good their mental health and wellbeing, and to can call the LawCare helpline on 1800 991 mental health and wellbeing in the legal promote understanding of how and when to 801, 9am-7.30pm weekdays, 10am-4pm community throughout Ireland, the UK, Isle seek help, without fear or stigma. week-ends and bank holidays. The helpline of Man and Jersey. Law Care’s mission is to Visit www.lawcare.ie is free, independent and confidential. help the legal community with personal or professional concerns that may be affecting DEATH OF RETIRED JUDGE TIMOTHY CROWLEY The death has taken place, aged 83, of the former District Court Judge Timothy Crowley. He was appointed to the District Court in 1992 and retired in 2001. He is survived by his wife Blaithait, children Caroline, David and Tim, brothers Father Roderic and Laurence and sister Marianne.
16 COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 APPOINTMENTS MS. JUSTICE LAFFOY APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF LAW REFORM COMMISSION Her appointment is yet another step in her long She was appointed a judge of the High Court and illustrious career. It began in 1968 when in April 1995 and was primarily involved in civil she graduated from University College Dublin litigation, principally in the area of chancery with a B.A. degree. Between 1968 and 1971 law. She was appointed to the Supreme Court she studied law at University College Dublin in October 2013 and retired in June 2017. and at the Honourable Society of King’s Inns. She was called to the Bar in July 1971 and the Ms Justice Laffoy chaired the Citizens’ Inner Bar in 1987. Assembly from July 2016 to June 2018, when it published its Final Report. APPOINTMENT: NEW PRESIDENT OF THE LAW SOCIETY Mr. Patrick Dorgan has been appointed as the “It is a great honour to be elected president at 148th president of the Law Society. Mr Dorgan, a time when there are over 18,000 names on who specialises in property law at Cork firm the roll of solicitors. The profession is growing Ronan Daly Jermyn, will serve as the head of rapidly, with nearly 1,000 solicitors added to the society, which acts as the representative the roll last year,” he said. and regulatory body for Irish solicitors, for the next 12 months. MS. JUSTICE CAROLINE COSTELLO Ms. Justice Caroline Costello has been the High Court bench in 2014 she dealt with the appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal. She chancery and bankruptcy lists. was educated at University College Dublin, University of Oxford and King’s Inns. During her time with the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for Ireland, she edited the book She was called to the Bar in 1988 and the Inner The Four Courts: 200 Years which was published Bar in 2010. She practised in many areas of in 1996 to commemorate the 200th anniversary law including commercial, banking, insolvency, of the first sitting in the Four Courts. property and probate. On her appointment to MS. JUSTICE ISOBEL KENNEDY Ms. Justice Isobel Kennedy has been appointed She was a member of the Bar Council (1995- a judge of the Court of Appeal. Educated at 1997) and was appointed a judge of the High University College Cork and King’s Inns she Court in 2015. was called to the Bar in 1988 and the Inner Bar in 2003. She was chairwoman of the Referendum Commission for the 36th (Repeal of the She practised mainly in the areas of criminal 8th Amendment) and 37th (Blasphemy) law, judicial review and constitutional law. Amendments in 2018.
COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 17 APPOINTMENTS MR. GARRETT SIMONS, SC Mr. Garrett Simons SC has been appointed a judge of the High Court. Educated at Trinity College Dublin and King’s Inns he was called to the Bar in 1996 and the Inner Bar in 2007. He practised in Public Administration Law with an emphasis on Environmental and Planning Law as well as Immigration Law. He wrote the legal textbook Planning & Development Law and was a member of the editorial board of the Irish Law Reports Monthly. MR. JAMES MCCOURT, SOLICITOR Mr. James McCourt, solicitor, has been appointed a judge of the Circuit Court. He was educated at University College Cork and the Law Society of Ireland. He was enrolled as a solicitor in 1981 and went on to be a partner in O’Mara, Geraghty, McCourt Solicitors where he amassed vast experience in criminal law, family law, personal injuries, commercial litigation, employment litigation, landlord and tenant litigation and probate disputes. He served as President of the Law Society (2012-2013) and as a Courts Service Board member (2014-2018). Throughout his time as a solicitor he also acted as Chair of the Independent Review Panel in respect of Permanent TSB tracker mortgages and Chair of the Disciplinary Committee Leinster Branch Rugby. MR. JOHN HUGHES, SOLICITOR Mr. John Hughes, Solicitor has been appointed a judge of the District Court. He was educated at Dublin City University, University College Galway, Harvard Law School and the Law Society. He was enrolled as a solicitor in 1996 and served as State Solicitor in County Offaly (2013- 2018). He was managing partner in Hughes, Kehoe & Co Solicitors and practised in criminal law, family law and litigation.
18 COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 RETIREMENTS JUDGE JOHN HEDIGAN RETIRES College, and the King’s Inns. He was involvement in ensuring the streaming called to the Bar in 1976 and took silk in of public hearings of the ECHR on the 1990. internet. Tributes were also paid on behalf of the Bar Council, Law Society, He served as a judge of the High Court DPP, Garda and the Courts Service. between 2007 and 2016 and a judge of the European Court of Human Rights Judge Hedigan thanked the people who between 1998 and 2007. During his “form the backbone of the courts system time in the ECHR he was involved in and ensure it operates”. He thanked his the important case of Cyprus v Turkey many colleagues, judicial assistants and which emphasised the need to exhaust ushers, and paid a special thanks to his domestic legal remedies before bringing wife Emer, siblings and extended family. a case to Europe. He recalled that working as a barrister was a “remarkable career” and said that President Bermingham recalled that as a judge he had enjoyed the “tough Colleagues, who assembled to wish during his time in the High Court, Mr and fascinating” work of the courts. In Judge John Hedigan well as he retired Justice Hedigan was prepared to work general terms as a lawyer he said the from the Court of Appeal, heard the in any area and presided over many high work was at times was “terrifying and leading tribute from the President of the profile jury actions. He also worked exhilarating” but also involved “speaking Court Mr Justice George Birmingham. with “a heart and a half” as a judge of for the voiceless and providing strength He reminded everyone that the judge had the Court of Appeal and was a “rock of for the weak”. a broad civil and criminal law practice, common sense” who would be much and that he was frequently called upon by missed. He said he intended to keep himself former Director of Public Prosecutions, busy, and wouldn’t just “go quietly”. He Eamonn Barnes “to wear the green The Attorney General reflected on Judge finished by quoting former UN Secretary jersey” in sensitive extradition matters. Hedigan’s many years of “dedicated General, Dag Hammarskjold saying, “for service” to the State. Praising the judge the past, thanks; for the future, yes.” A Dubliner by birth, Judge Hedigan was for his long years of dedicated public educated at Belvedere College, Trinity service, the Attorney mentioned his JUDGE DOIRBHILE FLANAGAN RETIRES Judge Doirbhile Flanagan took her leave the Law Society Michele O’Boyle said from the Circuit Court after 14 years the judge had stamped her mark from recently. A senior counsel before her her very first sitting as an outstanding appointment to the bench the judge sat member of the judiciary. David Gilvarry in many different parts of the country BL paid tribute on behalf of the Midland during her judicial years before being Circuit Bar while Triona Hever thanked assigned to Sligo six years ago. Judge Flanagan on behalf of the staff of the Courts Service for her courtesy and The Sligo practitioners turned out in co-operation. numbers to wish her well as she retired. President of Sligo Solicitors’ Association Thanking all for their kind words, the Michael Monahan praised the judge’s judge said that she had enjoyed her time ability to clear the court lists and her on the bench in Sligo. We wish her well professional approach to her job. His in her retirement. words were echoed by retired State Solicitor Hugh Sheridan. Speaking for
COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 19 RETIREMENTS JUDGE MARY DEVINS RETIRES Judge Mary Devins has called time on a “epitomised a District Court judge”. of her in Ballycroy, County Mayo in 1999. 20 year career on the bench. Originally Dermot Morahan, solicitor, on behalf “It was a far different court at the time from Derry, she was a solicitor prior of the Mayo solicitors said that “there with an open fire, tea and sandwiches”. to her appointment as a District Court is a saying in legal circles that you He complimented her for always giving judge in 1998. Educated at University should always know your judge. If you “sensible judgment, and lawful, logic College Dublin she enrolled as a knew Judge Devins, you came to court and concise reasoning behind her solicitor in 1972 and became a partner in prepared or you didn’t show up”. He sentencing”. Armstrong and Devins in Sligo. commended her for always giving the Tributes were paid to Judge Devins accused and defending solicitors a full State Solicitor Vincent Deane paid tribute at Castlebar District Court in late and fair hearing. to her “great sense of fairness, integrity November. Peter Mooney, Manager of and humour” while Diarmuid Connolly, Castlebar Court Office, led the tributes. Superintendent Joe McKenna thanked speaking on behalf of the barristers, He said he enjoyed working with her Judge Devins on behalf of An Garda said that “every barrister always came for the last thirteen years and that she Síochána and recalled appearing in front prepared to her court”. UJEN NAIDOO RETIRES After 19 years in the Courts Service Ujen We have all enjoyed working with Ujen. Naidoo has decided to retire and move He was a valued team member in the on to sunnier climates. Ujen started his Finance Unit and an enjoyable presence career in the Courts Service in December in the Office. 1999 in Dublin Circuit Court, he moved to Dun Laoghaire in 2003 and finally While Ujen will be missed by all in the moved to the Finance Section in March Finance Unit and Resource Management 2006. Many will have engaged with Directorate, we wish him a very long and Ujen during his time in Finance though happy retirement with his wife Clare and a variety of work he was involved in: their two sons. Appropriation Account, budgeting and the administrator of the FMS system. John Cleere PADDY KELLY RETIRES daughter-in-law Mary-Claire and his neighbours Chris and Alice Smith. Lots of people turned up, past and present colleagues including retired ushers and criers, registrars and other Court Service personnel. Paddy was in super form and was delighted to meet everyone again. Paddy has worked with seven judges over the past 32 years: Mr. Justice Patrick McKenzie from 1987-1992; Mr. Justice Declan Budd from 1992-2012; Mr. Justice Paul McDermott, Mr. Justice Kevin Cross, Mr. Justice Anthony Barr, Mr. Justice Henry Abot and he finished his service with Ms. Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon from 2014-2018. Paddy was a very loyal usher and gave helpful advice to members of the Bar and solicitors. His colleagues presented him with gifts James Flannery, Paddy Kelly and Richie McNally from many people and he thanked everyone for attending. High Court usher Paddy Kelly had his retirement evening on 15th All the very best in your retirement Paddy. We will miss your November 2018 in the Sheds, Distillery Building, Church Street, humour around the courts. Dublin. A great night was had by all, including his wife Marie, his sons Anthony, Gerard and James, his daughter Susan, his Maria Devitt, Anne Solan, Tom Griffiths
20 COURT SERVICE NEWS NUACHT NA SEIRBHÍSE CÚIRTEANNA DECEMBER 2018 FILM REVIEW ON THE BASIS of SEX Staring Acadamy Award Nominee Felicity Jones On the Basis of Sex is inspired by the true a woman and a mother it was even harder Oscar winner Kathy Bates, give stand out story of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to get a job”. In tracing her career she support performances. legendary judge of the Supreme Court recalled that “during WWII the US was of the United States. It tells the story of a fighting against tyrannical powers with young, then struggling attorney and new strong racist policies. Yet at home it was mother who stands up to and tries to knock forcing segregation in some States. This all sorts barriers out of the way, as she tries could not survive the experience of the War to operate as a female student and lawyer, and the aftermath saw the rebirth of the and her fight for equal rights for others civil rights and feminist movements”. throughout her career. “I would have made a great diva, if I had any When Ruth takes on a groundbreaking tax talent. But I have a monotone voice. I found case with her husband, attorney Martin my talent was to be able to read, write Ginsburg, she knows it could change the and argue – what better qualifications to direction of her career and the way the become a lawyer. As a ‘kid from Brooklyn’, courts view gender discrimination. That she who went to university in the 1950’s, it was a chose the case of a man being discriminated bad time for personal liberties in the States, against adds a genuine edge to the story. as McCarthyism took hold. There was a red scare at the time with the accusation that The film also chronicles the storybook- “there were communists in every closet. like romance between Ruth and Marty, a I came to appreciate that lawyers were partnership that the film shows flourishing standing against that kind of tyranny and It is obvious that much research and judicial and succeeding both personally and defending people’s right to speak and write cooperation went into the movie. Indeeed, professionally. Indeed, Courts Service News as they will”. In typical dead pan manner the laws argued and the procedure are not remembers meeting them some years she surmised to us, “Seemed to me that only bang on, but get the atmosphere of the back in Galway. She told us then about her being a lawyer would be a good way of adversarial US appeal courts. Ginsburg early career and her dream of becoming earning as well as doing some good things herself told Courts Service News that “all a Supreme Court judge. “In 1959 when for the community”. argument is not a battle. It is intrusive I was called to the bar no woman could conversation between informed lawyers on have dreamed she could one day be on On the Basis of Sex is directed by Mimi the one side and the judges on the other.” the Supreme Court. There had only been Leder (The Leftovers, Deep Impact) from an one woman ever on a Federal Appellate original screenplay by Daniel Stiepleman (a The movie in its penultimate scene shows Court. My goal was to get a job in the legal nephew of Judge Ginsburg). Felicity Jones all of this “intrusive conversation” at its profession”. (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) plays the very best and frustrating glory. The final young Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Armie scene as the young Ruth becomes the She had a four year old daughter when Hammer (Call Me by Your Name, The Social iconic justice is clever and poignant. she graduated, and she recalled that “as Network) is the young representation of Marty Ginsburg. Our own Jack Reynor, and Gerry Curran
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