COUNTY Clare solicitor Eugene O’Kelly, who was nominated for appointment to the bench this week, is set to be appointed as the permanent judge for the Limerick city district court area.
Mr O’Kelly, 48, who runs a successful legal practice in Kilrush, County Clare was one of five people nominated by the Government for appointment as district court judges at a meeting of the Cabinet last Tuesday.
It is expected that all five will be officially sworn in by President Michael D Higgins early next week following the St Patrick’s Day festivities.
Mr O’Kelly, who is a past president of the Clare Law Society, previoulsy served as solicitor to the Commission of Investigation into the death of Gary Douch.
In recent years he came to national prominence when he represented Clare woman Sharon Collins in the so-called “Lying Eyes” case. He also represented Kilrush businessman, Anthony Kelly, who was acquitted in 2007 of murdering Limerick nighclub Bouncer, Brian Fitzgerald.
Mr O’Kelly will replace Judge Tom O’Donnell who was promoted to the Circuit Court last summer.
Since his departure, moveable judge Eamon O’Brien has presided over the vast majority of court sittings at Limerick Courthouse on Merchants Quay.