Government appoints four new judges after warning of 'crisis' at appeals court

There are currently waiting times of 20 months for hearings at the Court of Appeal

The Government has appointed four new judges to the Court of Appeal and the High Court. 

Judge Brian McGovern and Judge Marie Baker have been appointed to the Court of Appeal.

Judge Patrick McCarthy is set to be appointed to the same court on July 2nd after Judge Alan Mahon vacates the role.

Justice Mahon is due to take up the position of Ombudsman for the Defence Forces.

Meanwhile Senior Counsel Tara Burns has been made a High Court judge.

“Immediate crisis”

The appointments come after the new president of the Court of Appeal warned he was facing an “immediate crisis” – with waiting times of 20 months for appeal hearings.

Two of the court’s ten judges retired this year without being replaced, while a further three due to retire shortly.

The Government has only appointed a small number of judges since it was formed due to problems with the Judicial Appointments Bill.

Reform of the mechanism for selecting judges was a key demand of the Transport Minister Shane Ross when the Government was formed.

The legislation has faced significant political opposition since it was tabled - however it did pass through all stages in the Dáil last week.

It still must make its way through the Seanad.

It is understood Minister Ross agreed that he would not oppose the appointments in recent days.