Friday 16 November 2018

Judge first openly gay serving member of High Court

Justice Aileen Donnelly
Justice Aileen Donnelly
Valarie Mulcahy

Brian O'Reilly and Cliona Foley

One of the country's top judges has revealed that she is gay.

One of the country's top judges has revealed that she is gay.

Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly became Ireland's first openly gay serving member of the High Court on her appointment last July.

A Courts Service spokesperson confirmed yesterday that Ms Justice Donnelly was gay.

"Justice Donnelly is in a very happy relationship with her partner Susan," he said.

Susan attended Ms Justice Donnelly's appointment with her last summer.

It is understood that Ms Justice Donnelly has been openly gay for many years.

Earlier this week Ms Justice Donnelly was named on blog theoutmost.com as openly gay.

She was educated at UCD and the King's Inn before being called to the Bar in 1988. She was then called to the Inner Bar in 2004.

Ms Justice Donnelly was also a board member and co-chair of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties between 1996 and 2002.

Comfortable

Meanwhile, Cork ladies football legend Valerie Mulcahy broke new ground when she became the first female GAA player to reveal publicly that she is gay.

Ms Mulcahy - a schoolteacher who has won nine All-Ireland titles and five Allstars - featured on the RTE documentary 'Coming out of the Curve', which was hosted by former Rebel goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack.

Speaking yesterday at the launch of the new Women's Gaelic Players' Association - of which she is a founding member - she said deciding to reveal her sexuality to the wider public was not a particularly hard one for her.

"I've been comfortable and out many years," she said.

"Anyone who knows me knows that my sexual orientation is not everything about me. They know who I am, they know I'm an athlete and that I'd rather they'd talk about my skills and football expertise.

"We are female, we are athletes, it's just one small part of us," she said of being a lesbian.

"For some people it's important, but it doesn't necessarily have to define everything that I am."

Irish Independent

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