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24 Jan 2022

Tributes paid as Judge Finnegan departs Donegal

Judge Raymond Finnegan

District Court Judge Raymond Finnegan

Tributes have been paid to Judge Raymond Finnegan, who is departing Donegal after only four months.

Judge Finnegan is taking up a new position in the Cavan-Monaghan District next month.

Judge Finnegan was appointed to District Number 1, based at Letterkenny courthouse, in May before taking up the post in September.

He succeeded Judge Paul Kelly, who sat on the bench for 11 years until his appointment as the President of the District Court.

“I will miss Letterkenny,” he told Monday’s sitting of Letterkenny District Court.

“Obviously this was my first official assignment and I have enjoyed it. The level of professionalism from the Gardaí, staff and practitioners was exceptional.

“I have enjoyed it immensely and I have learned a huge amount. We have made progress on the list.”

Judge Finnegan has two teenage sons who are playing high levels of Gaelic football and basketball. A native of Kells in County Meath, moving closer to home will allow him to spend more time with his family.

He said: “I expected to be here longer than four months.

“The furthest spin in my new district is Monaghan, which is an hour and ten minutes from my front door.”

Upon taking up the role in Donegal, Judge Finnegan, who was previously a solicitor in his home county, promised to adopt a strict policy of only two adjournments in a bid to clear an extensive backlog of cases.

Letterkenny-based solicitor Mr Kieran O’Gorman paid tribute on behalf of the legal profession.

“Thank you for the manner in which you dealt with the list, individually and professionally,” Mr O’Gorman said.

“We are certainly sorry to see you go. You were putting things fairly well in shape so it is a pity that you didn’t decide to stay longer.”

Tributes were also paid to the departing Judge by An Garda Síochána and the Probation Service.

A successor to Judge Finnegan has yet to be announced.

Earlier this month, Judge Sandra Murphy was appointed as the new District Court Judge for District Nymber 2, which covers south Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim, replacing the retired Judge Kevin Kilrane.

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