Maura McNally SC has been elected as chair of the Council of The Bar of Ireland, succeeding Mícheál P. O’Higgins SC after two years in the post.
She becomes the second-ever woman elected to the position, following Ms Justice Mella Carroll who held the role more than four decades ago.
A native of Leitrim, Ms McNally called to the Bar in 1992 and practised on Circuit until her appointment to the Inner Bar in 2017. Following post-graduate studies in Warwick University (LLM), and UCG (BA and LLB), she completed her Bachelors of Law in King’s Inns and practices civil law; primarily in personal injury, chancery and non-jury.
Commenting on her election, Ms McNally said: “I’m honoured to have been elected as chair by my Council colleagues. There are significant challenges on the horizon for the profession and the wider justice field, not least the fallout from COVID-19, as well as Brexit.
“I’m looking forward, with the energy and support of the new Council, to make an important contribution in relation to the administration of justice and our role within it.
“Strengthening our relationships with external partners, here in Ireland, the UK and Europe will be an important part of finding solutions, identifying opportunities and ensuring a sustainable Bar.”
She added: “Over four decades to be following the footsteps of last female chair, Ms Justice Mella Carroll is personally significant for me. A representative Bar benefits those whom we serve, those who practice and those who are interested in a career at the Bar.
“To be elected at this time, and having actively pursued the issues of resilience, mental health and diversity while on the Council, I hope to add further to the reputation of the Bar as a true community of professionals, committed to the pursuit of justice, independence and fairness.”