A judge from Lurgan has been appointed to a top position at Trinity College in Dublin.
Sir Donnell Deeny was inaugurated at a special ceremony last Thursday night as a new pro-chancellor at the university where he graduated.
He said he was honoured to be the recipient of such a high office.
“I am very glad that the provost and his colleagues are seeking ways to increase the numbers from Northern Ireland, which I feel has so much to contribute to Trinity, and is indeed essential to cement its claim to be the premier university on this island,” the judge said.
“I would be very happy to work with you in that endeavour, for the sake of Trinity but also for the sake of Northern Ireland, which greatly benefited from the exchange.”
Sir Donnell is the presiding judge of the chancery division of the High Court of Northern Ireland.
He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1974 and practised there until his appointment to the court in 2004.
He has given judgments in numerous high profile cases including, in recent times, the Sean Quinn bankruptcy case, in which he wrote a landmark judgment on what constituted a ‘centre of main interest’ in European Insolvency Law. He found that Mr Quinn’s centre of main interest was in the Republic, and so revoked his Northern Ireland bankruptcy.
Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity College, said: “As a student in Trinity in the early 1970s, Donnell Deeny was notable, not only for his academic achievements, but for his versatility and success in many spheres. He was auditor, and gold medallist, of the Hist, and he took the Irish Times Debating Trophy three times - the only person in the history of the competition to have managed this feat.”
Sir Donnell Deeny is the 56th Pro-Chancellor to be appointed to this role since the foundation of the College in 1592.