Helen’s Choice


From top: Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and former justice minister Charlie Flanagan; Tullow solicitor Mary Morrissey’s appointment in July to the Circuit Court bench as reported by The Carlow Nationalist


Via The Sunday Times:

Several District Court judges also applied for the vacancy on the Circuit Court bench that was filled by [Mary] Morrissey, a solicitor who once worked in a law firm with Charlie Flanagan, the previous Fine Gael minister for justice. Last week The Sunday Times revealed that Morrissey canvassed for a Fine Gael councillor in the local elections in 2019.

The Sunday Times has learnt that at least three candidates for the post were approved by the JAAB, but McEntee brought only one name to cabinet. She has declined to say whether she discussed the other names with the taoiseach and Ryan or with Leo Varadkar, the tanaiste and leader of Fine Gael. “Discussions between ministers are confidential,” McEntee said.

The taoiseach would not comment on whether he was aware the JAAB had approved more than one candidate. A government spokesman said: “The minister for justice recommended Mary Morrissey and the cabinet agreed. The normal process was followed and she informed the taoiseach.”

Several judges put in bids for Circuit Court post handed to Mary Morrissey (Stephen O’Brien, Sunday Times)


29 thoughts on “Helen’s Choice

  1. broadbag

    Murkier and murkier.

    On a sidenote, what is with all the smiley, happy clappy, photo-op nonsense around McEntee being pregnant, I get the milestone significance etc but why are the media going on as if she’s Meghan Markle or Princess Di or something, really weird level of coverage for a story that is essentially ‘woman has baby’.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      isnt it weird? trying to put a human face on what’s been the most uncaring government in living memory

      unpaid nurses working 12 hour shifts during a health crisis? dont mind that – theres going to be a governmental baba!

      1. Andrew

        Most uncaring government in living memory? The social welfare bill and other state supports would suggest otherwise.
        Should we pay trainee nurses who are still in education? Maybe. Should we pay trainee barristers? Should we pay every student doing an internship or work experience?
        If you pay one set of students you will have to pay them all. How much more tax are YOU willing to pay?

        1. Brother Barnabas

          are the trainee barristers and students doing internships and work experience working on the frontline during a crisis? is the work they’re doing preventing the most critical state service from collapsing? if yes to either question, then absolutely we should pay them. if no to either question, the situations are not comparable

    2. delacaravanio

      It’s very odd. You’d swear she was the taoiseach. And even if she was, it’s not as if she has actually had the baby. All that has happened is that she has announced that she is pregnant.

      Don’t get me wrong, it is excellent news for her and her family. I just don’t see why the rest of us should know or care.

        1. frank

          sure she’s pregnant now!! Asking her any difficult questions are just harmful for her being a lady woman but also to her unborn child.
          A genius move if you ask me

        2. Anti Bots

          You’re dead right. Having a pregnant women in cabinet the first time ever should not be news. Sure lots of women get pregnant. FFS, grow up boys.

          1. Charger Salmons

            There are so few women of child-bearing age in positions of power in Ireland it’s inevitable that a pregnant govenment minister is going to make news.
            That it does is more a reflection of Ireland’s slow progress in equality and sexual freedom after decades of being in the vice-like grip of the Catholic church.
            Blighty has had two female Prime Ministers by now.
            Get with the times Daddyo.

          2. v AKA Frilly Keane

            While I would agree there Charage, particularly the pregnancy of a Cabinet Minister being such a novelty in 2020

            Its worth pointing out from your own examples of parenting while in a senior public job,
            that one was childless
            the other, a parent of adult children when she moved into No 10

            A better example might have been Jacinda Arden in fairness

            what I’m interested in here btw
            is that since Helen McEntee#s current employment doesn’t provide for Maternity Leave
            Will she make do with Social Welfare’s 200 whatever tis now yoyos + unpaid parental leave?

          3. Anti Bots

            I really find the comments above deplorable. Just because she is a politician, she can’t get pregnant or did so because she must deflect from from criticism? As any first time parent will tell you, the worry and stress of pregnancy is awful. Ah but sure, she should know better, sure she is from FG. Probably gay too….

            Oh, and she should be older to be a politician not to have children at her age.

            BS commentators are deplorable in the most part.

          4. Cian

            She will get her full TD salary. It is the Ministerial top-up is the bit in question.

            Considering the hulabalu when a previous government tried to pay an additional super-junior additional money – what can they do?

            They need a minister. So do they (temporarily) replace her as Minister [since the Minister has specific legal role – I’m not sure if you can just get a temp]. And when she returns from maternity they put her back as a minister.

            And in the mean-time pay her the full Ministerial salary + pension rights while she is on maternity? Or should she lose that? Her TD salary is well above the statuary maternity pay.

            Someone phone Joe Duffy: either the gubberment are discriminating against pregnant women OR the gubberment are wasting public funds…. gods what a mess….

            I think we need Legal Coffee Drinker on the case! Somebody light up the red LCD-cafetiere!!

  2. Andrew

    There’s a long line of judges that have benefited in this way.

    The career trajectory of Leonie Reynolds is quite remarkable

  3. Bitnboxy

    The reality is that McEntee has not done anything any other previous Ministers for Justice haven’t done. The system is rotten and rotten behaviour is completely licit given the vagueness and utter lack of process. We don’t even have a judicial disciplinary body for crying out loud. You get what you pay for.

    1. Mr .T

      Doesn’t excuse it – opposition (& the public) should strike while the iron is hot, finally this sh*te is in the public spotlight so we should be demanding a change to how judges are appointed in this country.

      If McEntee goes down as a result, well thats just collateral damage

  4. Toby

    Ah but why concentrate on getting your mates to be judges when we can get a few more days out of a tweet by a Shinner.

    1. Anti Bots

      Oh the irony. We know that you shinners would like nothing more than no judges when it comes to “freedom fighters”, bank robbers, Guard murderers, smuggling etc. Who are you going to appoint when you get into power? BTW are you Toby, Goo or Fart today? What shifts do you work on?

  5. Joe

    FFG with the most fulsome support of the Greenwash (Gimp) party, colludes in execrable sleaze. The smell from McEntee’s office needs more than facemasks and sanitisers to hide the stink!

  6. V AKA Frilly Keane

    Ah give over

    How many Governments have been and gone with snakey Judicial Appointments in their Cabinet logs?

    And don’t think for a second the next one
    And the one after that will be any different
    And on and on

    But I get the easy opportunity to make it Helen McEntee’s problem

    As if anyone expected any different from her
    Or the reactions
    Same old same old

    Nothing changes

      1. Anti Bots

        Why was my reply to Toby / Goo / Fart deleted? Shurely they are not BS shrews to gain clickbait?

      2. v AKA Frilly Keane

        indeed Toby

        As it was for
        Charlie Flanagan
        Frances Fitz
        Alan Shat
        Brendan Smith
        Dermo Ahern
        Brian Og Lenihan & Brian Snr btw
        Mickie McDowall
        Johnno Donohue
        Nora Own
        Pee Flynn
        Raz Burke
        Gerrarrd Collins
        Alan Dukes

        and that’s just in the current Minister for Justice’s lifetime, but you can add the man who set the foundations of the very select Irish Elite + foreign private equity funds, that Fine Gael specifically serve today, Michael Noonan.

  7. italia'90

    I hear from a source in the RCC that the baby will be Christened Jaab McEntee,
    regardless of how many names are put forward on the birth cert.

  8. frank

    sure she’s pregnant now!! Asking her any difficult questions are just harmful for her being a lady woman but also to her unborn child.
    A genius move if you ask me

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