Council & Committees

The members of the Bar Council are elected annually by the members of the Law Library. The Council consists of 10 practitioners from the Inner Bar, 10 practitioners from the Outer Bar and four co-opts. The Council is chaired by a Chairperson elected for a two-year term.

The General Council of The Bar of Ireland Members 2021 – 2022

Chair of The Council of the Bar of Ireland

Maura McNally, SC, Member of the Inner Bar.

A Leitrim native, Maura was 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 & LLB), she completed her Barrister at Law in King’s Inns and practices civil law; primarily in personal injury, chancery & non-jury.

Maura follows in the footsteps of the late Honourable Ms. Justice Mella Carroll, who was first elected 41 years ago, to be the second female Chair of the Bar. She notes:

Maura McNally SC will Chair the Council from 1 August 2020 – 31 July 2021 and takes to the helm of the Bar following the Chairmanship of Mícheál P. O’Higgins SC

Permanent Committees of the Council of The Bar of Ireland

The following Permanent Committees are provided for under the Constitution of the Council of the Bar of Ireland, and reflect central priorities and activities of the Law Library., and the delivery of services to our members.

Standing Committee

Library Committee

This committee comprises of the chairs of the permanent committees, Chairman and Vice-chair, and Treasurer. The business of the Standing Committee shall be to consider, and if necessary determine, all such matters within the competence of the Council as may be of an extremely urgent nature and require such determination between meetings of the Council.

The Library Committee deals with all matters relating to admission to the Law Library, and membership
thereof, including matters relating to the acquisition and maintenance of the materials, whether in look or electronic form, necessary within the Library for the profession.

Professional Practices Committee

This Committee monitors all matters concerning the proper professional practice of members of the Law Library and may investigate and, if thought fit, prefer and present a complaint against any member without the necessity of having the matter referred to it by any third

Brian O’Driscoll is Secretary to this Committee.

Finance Committee

This Committee deals with all matters relating to the finances of the Council and its associate
companies for the maintenance and development of the Law Library, Council properties, and IT infrastructure.

Colin Potts is Secretary to this Committee

Education & Training Committee

The Education & Training Committee oversees training for new entrants (including master/devil relationships) and CPD for the membership at large, including ensuring that the profession’s CPD
requirements are met, and supports to barristers in practice are in place in light of the longer-term implications of regulation under the LSRA.

The secretary is Stephen Swanton.

Public Affairs Committee

The Public Affairs Committee assists in the
promotion of members establishes and maintains appropriate links with all
regional and Specialist Bar Associations, the Voluntary Assistance
Scheme (VAS), and Irish Rule of Law International (IRLI), and fosters relations and communications between the Council and outside bodies.

Cormac O’Culain is Secretary to this Committee

Young Bar Committee

The Young Bar Committee provides a forum for Young Bar members, and co-ordinates initiatives directed at the needs of practitioners who practise in Years 1-7, as well as contributing to wider Bar priorities.

Cormac O’Culain is Secretary to this Committee

Circuit Liaison Committee

The Circuit Liaison Committee provides a forum for practitioners to address matters that arise for members practising on Circuit, as well as maintaining close library and professional development connections.

Lindsay Bond is secretary to this committee.

Non-Permanent Committees of the Council of The Bar of Ireland

The following Permanent Committees are provided for under the Constitution of the Council of the Bar of Ireland, and reflect central priorities and activities of the Law Library., and the delivery of services to our members.

ADR and

This Committee raises awareness of ADR practices among practitioners and the wider public through
partnerships with relevant stakeholders, a programme of education, and its inclusion in wider Bar debates.

Chair: Cathrina Keville BL

State Bar

This Committee monitors trends and developments within the criminal Bar, liaising with key justice stakeholders
on issues of concern, including the Department of Justice and Equality, the Office of the DPP, and others.

Chair: Vincent Heneghan SC


This Committee oversees matters relating to developments in the area of personal injuries and engages with a variety of bodies to reform the personal injuries landscape in

Chair: Elizabeth O’Connell SC

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Human Rights

Civil State Bar

Oversees the development and
implementation of initiatives that
promote equality and diversity at the
Bar, ensuring where possible that a
member’s ability to achieve his or her
potential is not limited by prejudice
or discrimination.

Chair: Aoife McNickle BL

This Committee works to promote
justice and respect for human rights
through the rule of law. It monitors
human rights issues, in particular those involving lawyers who are
endangered, and engages with various human rights groups.

Chair: Joseph O’Sullivan BL

This Committee engages with State
agencies on whose behalf members are routinely briefed including the
Attorney General/Chief State
Solicitor’s Office, the Legal Aid Board,
and the State Claims Agency.

Chair: Mark Dunne SC