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Supreme Court of Ireland – An Chúirt Uachtarach na hÉireann

Donal O’Donnell

Chief Justice of Ireland

President since: 11 October 2021
Member of the Supreme Court since: 2010 


Biography and career


St. Mary’s C.B.S., Belfast, University College Dublin (B.C.L.), The Honorable Society of King's Inns (B.L.) and the University of Virginia (LL.M).



Mr Justice O'Donnell, Chief Justice, was called to the Bar of Ireland in 1982, commenced practice in 1983 and was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1989. In 1995, he was appointed a Senior Counsel and practised in all of the Courts of Ireland, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights.

Lectures he has delivered include the John Kelly lecture (University College Dublin), the Brian Walsh lecture (Irish Society for European Law) the Brian Lenihan lecture (Trinity College Dublin), the Dan Binchy lecture (Brehon Law School) and the keynote address at a conference in the University of Limerick to mark the eightieth anniversary of the Constitution of Ireland. Mr Justice O'Donnell has published articles on a variety of legal topics, including in the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, the Irish Jurist, the Dublin University Law Journal and the Judicial Studies Journal, and has contributed to volumes of essays on legal issues.

Mr Justice O'Donnell was a member of the Law Reform Commission from 2005 to 2012 and is a member of the Council of the Irish Legal History Society, He is a Bencher of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns and an Honorary Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn.

He was appointed Chief Justice of Ireland in October 2021 and, as Chief Justice, is a member of the Council of State, the Presidential Commission, Chair of the Board of the Courts Service and Chair of the Judicial Council.