George Birmingham

George Martin Birmingham (born 3 August 1954) is an Irish judge who has served as President of the Court of Appeal since April 2018 and a Judge of the Court of Appeal since October 2014. He served as a Judge of the High Court from 2007 to 2014, Minister of State for European Affairs from 1986 to 1987 and Minister of State for Youth Affairs from 1982 to 1986. He served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin North-Central constituency from 1981 to 1989.[1]


George Birmingham
President of the Court of Appeal
Assumed office
4 April 2018
Nominated byGovernment of Ireland
Appointed byMichael D. Higgins
Preceded bySeán Ryan
Judge of the Court of Appeal
Assumed office
24 October 2014
Nominated byGovernment of Ireland
Appointed byMichael D. Higgins
Judge of the High Court
In office
3 May 2007  24 October 2014
Nominated byGovernment of Ireland
Appointed byMary McAleese
Minister of State for European Affairs
In office
13 February 1986  21 January 1987
TaoiseachGarret FitzGerald
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Minister of State for Youth Affairs
In office
16 December 1982  13 February 1986
TaoiseachGarret FitzGerald
Preceded byNew office
Succeeded byEnda Kenny
Teachta Dála
In office
June 1981  June 1989
ConstituencyDublin North-Central
Personal details
Born
George Martin Birmingham

(1954-08-03) 3 August 1954
Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyFine Gael
Alma mater

Early life

Birmingham was born in Dublin in 1954. He was educated at St. Paul's College, Trinity College, Dublin and King's Inns, where he qualified as a barrister.

Political career

Birmingham first became involved in politics in 1979, when he was elected to Dublin City Council, representing Fine Gael. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1981 general election as TD for the Dublin North-Central constituency.[2] Between 1982 and 1987, he served as a Minister of State under Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald, at the Departments of Education, Labour and Foreign Affairs. Fine Gael lost power following the 1987 general election, and Birmingham lost his Dáil seat at the 1989 general election.

Between 1989 and 2007, he worked as a barrister, becoming a Senior Counsel in 1999. On 3 May 2007, it was announced that he had been selected to become a High Court judge. In October 2014, he became a judge of the Court of Appeal.[3]

Birmingham was the sole member of the Commission of Investigation into the Dean Lyons case.[4]

President of Court of Appeal

On 24 April 2018, the Government of Ireland decided to nominate Birmingham as President of the Court of Appeal, the second-highest judicial post in the State.[5] The nomination was immediately the subject of controversy.[6][7] Insinuations were made that it was a political appointment, given that Birmingham had served for eight years as a Fine Gael TD in the 1980s and had been a Minister of State for five years.[8]

References

  1. "George Birmingham". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  2. "George Birmingham". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  3. "Appointments to the Court of Appeal". Department of the Taoiseach. 29 October 2014.
  4. "Dean Lyons Commission of Investigation". Department of Justice and Law Reform. Archived from the original on 20 December 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
  5. "George Birmingham named president of Court of Appeal". The Irish Times. 24 April 2018.
  6. "Government row erupts over top judicial appointment". The Irish Times. 25 April 2018.
  7. "Judicial tensions flare up again". The Irish Times. 25 April 2018.
  8. "Former Fine Gael TD named President of the Court of Appeal". The Irish Times. 24 April 2018.
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