Page last updated at 09:12 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Irish Supreme Court post for Donal O'Donnell SC

Legal documents
Mr O'Donnell has practised in Dublin for many years

A Belfast-born barrister has been nominated to become a judge in the Irish Republic's highest court.

Donal O'Donnell will be appointed to the Supreme Court by President Mary McAleese in the new year.

Mr O'Donnell, a senior counsel, is one of the few barristers to be appointed directly to the court without having first served as a judge.

Mr O'Donnell is regarded as an leading practitioner of constitutional law and is a law reform commissioner.

He has appeared in many high profile cases, including appearing for the Irish government at the recent hearing of the European Court of Human Rights where three Irish woman are challenging the country's ban on abortion.

He studied law at University College Dublin and the University of Virginia.

He was called to the Bar of Ireland in 1982 and to the Northern Ireland Bar in 1989.

The Supreme Court is the court of final appeal in the Irish Republic. It sits in the Four Courts in Dublin.

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