Gubu Gubu – The Golden Circle, the People of Ireland Deserve better; if the Gravy Political includes our Untouchable Judges, this needs to be Addressed Urgently. FG are becoming a Party of Arrogant Chancers, and sadly FF led by Lame Duck Martin is Supporting the Cronyism.

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New Circuit Court judge worked for Flanagan’s firm

  8 hrs ago

New Circuit Court judge worked for Flanagan’s firm

A Circuit Court judge, who was appointed on the same day as Séamus Woulfe, once worked in former Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan’s solicitors firm.

Solicitor Mary Morrissey was appointed to the Circuit Court on the same day as Mr Justice Woulfe was controversially announced as a Supreme Court Judge.

Ms Morrissey worked for around three years in Bolger White Egan and Flanagan solicitors in Portlaoise, Co Laois, before setting up her own firm.

She applied for the role on the circuit court through the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board (JAAB) and was recommended for the vacancy created by the passing of Circuit Court judge John Hannan.

Ms Morrissey qualified as a solicitor in 1999 and went on to set up her own practice in Carlow after working for Mr Flanagan’s firm. She also won accreditation with distinction in mediation in January 2014.

Mr Flanagan stepped down as Justice Minister after the last general election and was replaced by Helen McEntee in June.

On July 15, Ms McEntee brought two judicial appointments to Cabinet – Mr Woulfe and Ms Morrissey. Both appointments were approved by Taoiseach Micheál Martin and the rest of his ministers.

But the row over the appointment of former Attorney General Mr Woulfe to the Supreme Court continued to cause ructions in the Dáil – with its business committee effectively collapsing in a significant escalation last night.

Sinn Féin, Labour, the Social Democrats, RISE-Solidarity- People Before Profit and the three Dáil technical groups confirmed their withdrawal from the committee that sets the weekly Dáil agenda.

Sinn Féin has also withdrawn all Dáil pairings with Government ministers when they are unable to attend votes.

In a letter to Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl, the whips from the seven opposition parties and groups said that the “refusal of the Government and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to come before the Dáil to make a statement and to take questions and answers… is an extremely serious issue for our democracy” and described it as “unacceptable and a very dangerous precedent”.

Earlier, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and Labour leader Alan Kelly said they will call votes on the Dáil’s business every single week until the Justice Minister agrees to their proposal to answer questions.

Earlier, Taoiseach Mr Martin said he had answered questions on the issue, and that Ms McEntee will too, under the Government proposal for her to respond as she takes other justice questions.

But he raised concern about demands for a full explanation of the criteria used – arguing this could impinge on the separation of powers.

At a press conference Ms McEntee again defended her recommendation that Mr Woulfe be appointed to the Supreme Court, saying she considered him “to be the best person” for the role.

A Government spokesperson said last night it was “a disappointing and regrettable decision from the opposition” to withdraw from the business committee.

They added: “However, Dáil business will continue as scheduled and Government will continue to prioritise the enactment of key pieces of legislation that matter to ­society.”

A Government source said the business committee was “effectively obsolete” as the Coalition has a majority in the Dáil.

They added: “The business committee was necessary during a minority government but it is pointless now.”

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