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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 23 October, 2014

Susan Denham to become Ireland’s first female Chief Justice

The Honourable Justice Susan Denham, the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court, will be its next president.

Image: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland

THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE Susan Gageby Denham is to become Ireland’s next Chief Justice. She will be Ireland’s eleventh chief justice, and the first woman ever to hold the position.

The government decided upon the appointment at cabinet this morning. She is now to be officially appointed by the President, Mary McAleese.

Justice Denham will serve as Chief Justice until 2017, when she will reach the mandatory age for retirement from the Supreme Court.

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin – of which she is a Pro-Chancellor – and of Columbia University in New York, Denham was called to the bar in 1971 and was involved in many high-profile cases as both as junior and senior counsel.

She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1992, the first woman to be appointed to the bench. She had been appointed to the High Court just a year earlier.

During her tenure she has been instrumental in reforms that led to the establishment of the Courts Service, and has chaired working groups on a Courts Commission and on a Court of Appeal.

She succeeds the Honourable Justice John Murray, whose seven-year term is concluding. Murray will remain a justice of the Supreme Court.

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