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Ireland's Attorney General is to become a judge of the Court of Appeal

The vacancy arose following the retirement of Justice Garrett Sheehan in March.

7/6/2012 New High Court Judges Máire Whelan Source: Mark Stedman

IRELAND’S ATTORNEY GENERAL Máire Whelan is to become a Justice of the Court of Appeal.

The Department of the Taoiseach has confirmed that Whelan has been nominated to the court as a judge by the government at its meeting today.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice confirmed that this will almost certainly see Whelan leave her current role as Attorney General.

Whelan had held the role of AG, the most senior legal adviser in the State, since March 2011.

Her tenure was occasionally controversial, not least during the series of events that led to the retirement of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan in early 2014, when it emerged Whelan had received information regarding the systematic recording of conversations at Garda stations for nearly 20 years fully four months before the Taoiseach.

The government has also informed President Michael D Higgins of the nomination, as per constitutional procedure.

The vacancy at the Court of Appeal arose following the retirement of Justice Garrett Sheehan last March.

The Court itself, which was formed in order to expedite the appeals process and streamline the backlogged courts service, was first established in October 2014.

Read: A true patriot or a tainted legacy? Enda Kenny gave his last speech as Taoiseach today

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