Mr Justice Frank Clarke named as next Chief Justice

Mr Justice Frank Clarke
Mr Justice Frank Clarke

Mr Justice Frank Clarke of the Supreme Court has been nominated by the Cabinet as the next Chief Justice of Ireland.

A statement from the Taoiseach’s office said the President had been “formally advised” of its recommendation that Mr Justice Clarke succeed Mrs Justice Susan Denham in the top judicial post on her retirement next month.

Mr Justice Clarke graduated from UCD in 1972 with a degree in Mathematics and Economics before being called to the Bar in 1973.

He became a senior counsel in 1985 and served for many years on the Bar Council, including two years (1993-1995) as its chair. He was appointed to the High Court in 2004 and the Supreme Court in 2012.

Welcoming his appointment, Paul McGarry, chairman of the Council of The Bar of Ireland, said: “Even back when he was practising as a barrister, Frank Clarke was recognised as one of the brightest legal minds of his generation. It came as little surprise to those of us who knew and worked with Frank that he went on to be appointed to the High Court in 2004 and later to the Supreme Court in 2012.

“He is a strong advocate and defender of the importance of judicial independence – which is increasingly important in light of recent events internationally, such as those in Poland this week.”

Mr McGarry added: “Frank Clarke is very widely respected in the legal profession because of his consistently fair, sound and insightful judgements. As a trained mathematician, he approaches rulings with a wonderfully methodical manner and relishes nothing more than a case with a numerical conundrum. It’s no secret that this has also stood him in good stead in his personal passion – horse racing.

“He doesn’t come from a legal background and was the first person from his family to attend college so he is a fine and welcome example to any aspiring legal student that the sky is the limit when it comes to what can be achieved with the right talent and dedication.

“On a personal level, Frank Clarke is much respected and liked for his outgoing and engaging demeanour and his appointment has been widely welcomed amongst the members of the Law Library.”