New judge scores 'first' for solicitors
A DUBLIN solicitor has become the first ever member of his profession to be nominated as a judge of the High Court.
Michael Peart (52), who qualified as a solicitor in 1970 and practices in Dublin, was one of nine new judges agreed yesterday by the Government.
Educated at Glenstal College, UCD and the Law Society, Mr Peart serves as a Council member of the Law Society and is also chairman of the Society's Education Committee.
Welcoming his appointment to the High Court, President of the Law Society, Elma Lynch, said: "The Law Society has frequently described the ineligibility of solicitors for senior judicial office as "a relic of history which was contrary to public interest.
"This is something for which the Law Society has campaigned for decades. Michael Peart has all of the qualities required to be an excellent judge of the High Court and we warmly welcome his appointment."
The other three appointed to the High Court are all senior counsel - Eamon de Valera, Michael Barry White and Mary Finlay.
Barrister Patricia Ryan BL is to become a Circuit Court judge; and the four judges nominated to the District Court are Anne Watkin BL and solicitors Geoffrey Browne, Cormac Dunne and Bryan Smyth.