Judge leaves Donegal after ten years in local courts

April 30, 2021

One of Co Donegal’s two district court judges today officially left his post.

Judge Paul Kelly sat in Letterkenny District Court for the last time completing ten years of service in the role.

Judge Kelly was recently appointed as the President of the District Court.

Although today was officially his last sitting, Judge will return to Donegal throughout the summer to complete some cases.

Tributes were paid by both members of the legal profession, An Garda Siochana and the courts service to Judge Kelly today.

Among those who spoke were County Registrar Geraldine O’Connor, barrister Damien Crawford, solicitors Kieran O’Gorman and Ciaran MacLochlainn, Garda Superintendent Michael Finan and Geoffrey McGonagle of the courts service.

Judge Paul Kelly pictured with court service staff. 9NW Newspix)

He was later presented with a number of gifts including a painting of Sliabh Liag, a painting of Fanad Lighthouse and a specially commissioned mirror with pictures of both the old and new Letterkenny courthouses engraved on it.

Judge Kelly has presided on District Court sittings in District Number 1, Donegal, since April 2011.

Judge Kelly, a native of Leixlip in Co Kildare, where he formerly served as Town Councillor, took over from Judge Seamus Hughes in Donegal almost ten years ago.

A keen runner and swimmer, Judge Kelly was a popular figure in the local community.

One of his most notable achievements during his tenure in Donegal was his assistance in setting up the Pro-Social Driver’s Course.

The course enjoys huge success in rehabilitating drivers who come before the courts for motoring offences.

Judge Paul Kelly pictured with representatives of the legal profession (NW Newspix)

He had established a successful legal practice in his native county in 1982, but retired upon his appointment to the District Court.

No details of his successor have yet been released.

All pictures by Northwest Newspix.


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