Judges to decide if Golfgate r eport will be made public
Helen Bruce 1 day ago
agains © Provided by Extra.ie
A recently appointed council of all the judges in the country will decide if the public should be allowed to see the report into Supreme Court judge Seamus Woulfe’s attendance at the Golfgate hotel.
They will consider whether publishing the report is necessary to maintain public confidence in the judges.
Judge Woulfe was at the Oireachtas Golf Society event in the hotel, which appeared to be in breach of COVID-19 guidelines
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A recently appointed council of all the judges in the country will decide if the public should be allowed to see the report into Supreme Court judge Seamus Woulfe’s attendance at the Golfgate hotel. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Former agriculture minister Dara Calleary and ex-EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan have already resigned for attending.
Former chief justice Susan Denham was asked by the Supreme Court to consider a number of questions on Judge Woulfe, including whether the newly appointed judge should have accepted the invitation to the dinner.
She gave her report to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, and it met yesterday and sent it to the Judicial Council ‘to consider publishing the report in furtherance of its statutory function of maintaining confidence in the judiciary’.© Provided by Extra.ie Former agriculture minister Dara Calleary resigned from his role after attending the event. Pic: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Established last December, the council is made up of all the judges in Ireland, and its roles include promoting public confidence in the judiciary.
Judge Woulfe has confirmed he was present for one day of the event – during which 81 people attended a dinner at the Station House Hotel in Clifden Co. Galway – as ‘an invited guest’.
In a statement, the ex-attorney general said: ‘On learning of the proposed dinner during the course of that day, my understanding was that the organisers and the hotel had satisfied themselves that they would be operating within Government public health guidelines. I would never disregard governmental or health authorities’ advice regarding public health, and have been at pains to follow rules and guidelines since their introduction in March. That I ended up in a situation where breaches may have occurred is of great regret to me, and for which I am sorry. I unreservedly apologise.’© Provided by Extra.ie Ex-EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan also resigned. Pic: Collins Courts
Judge Woulfe has not yet sat as a Supreme Court judge. The new term is due to begin next week.
Judge Denham was asked by the Supreme Court to question whether Judge Woulfe should, in all the circumstances, have left the hotel ‘in the light of the situation prevailing’.
It is understood the Judicial Council has indemnified Judge Denham as the author of the report, meaning she cannot personally be sued over its content.