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Barrister whose ad led to Mahon Tribunal nominated to the High Court

Colm MacEochaidh, a former Fine Gael general election candidate, has been nominated to the High Court by the government.

Colm MacEochaidh in 2002.
Colm MacEochaidh in 2002.
Image: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland

THE BARRISTER WHO was one of two people whose newspaper ad led would eventually lead to the setting up of the Mahon Tribunal into planning corruption has been appointed to the High Court.

Colm MacEochaidh, a senior counsel and former Fine Gael candidate for the Dáil, has been nominated by the government for appointment to the High Court by President Michael D Higgins.

His nomination is to fill the vacncy arising from the appointment of John MacMenamin to the Supreme Court in February.

MacEochaidh and the former chair of An Taisce, Michael Smith, were the two men whose offer of a IR£10,000 reward for information about corruption in the planning process 17 years ago led to the establishment of the Planning Tribunal in 1997.

The Tribunal issued its final report in March of this year, listing a litany of instances of corruption in the planning process involving politicians and developers. It also implicated the former taoiseach Bertie Ahern and other former government ministers.

MacEochaidh, 49, was a Fine Gael general election candidate in Dublin South East in 2002 and became a senior counsel in 2009.

He is a council member of the Irish chapter of Transparency International and a former member of the Council of An Taisce.

In the aftermath of Mahon Tribunal he called for the establishment of a permanent anti-corruption commission in Ireland.

The government said that the appointment followed receipt of a list of suitable candidates from the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board.

It added that it has taken the necessary steps to formally advise President Higgins of the nomination in accordance with constitutional procedure.

Read: Chief Justice launches report calling for independent judicial appointments

Read: ‘I thought it would last two months’ – the man whose ad led to Mahon

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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