Siobhán Ní Chúlacháin BL

  • Junior Counsel: 1999

BCL, LL.M, Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (Maynooth), Certificate in Advanced International Advocacy (Oxford), Ard Diplóma sa Dlí-chleachtadh trí Gaeilge (King's Inns), Certificat Erasmus in French Legal Studies (Toulouse)

Areas of Practice:
  • Administrative Law
  • Criminal
  • General Practice
  • Judicial Review
  • Constitutional Law
  • Extradition Law
  • Human Rights
  • International Criminal Law
Siobhán Ní Chúlacháin BL

Inn of Court of Northern Ireland (2013)
Other Memberships:
Cumann Bharra na hÉireann
Irish Criminal Lawyers Association
Irish Women Lawyers Association
Other Languages:
French (Fluent)
Irish (Fluent)
Direct Professional Access:
Not provided

My work focuses principally on criminal and public law. I have represented both the defence and the prosecution in criminal cases at all court levels. I have had convictions for murder & IRA membership quashed on appeal and have successfully defended persons accused of murder, rape and other serious offences. I have experience of Insanity cases and vulnerable witnesses as well as hostile witness procedures, mutual assistance applications, disclosure and other complex trial issues.

I have a busy judicial review practice focusing on criminal/personal liberty/prison law jurisdiction and have run cases successfully for both Applicants and Respondents in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

I also practice in the area of European Arrest Warrants, for both Applicants and Respondents, and I have appeared in many high-profile and technical cases. High points include representing Ireland in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in the Celmer case about the Rule of Law in Poland and the Minister for Justice in the Supreme Court in the landmark Rettinger case about Prison conditions. My practice also includes extradition cases under the 1965 Extradition Act, and I am familiar with the extradition Treaties between the EU and the USA, Australia, South Africa and Hong Kong.

I have a long-standing interest in human rights and campaigned internationally for the abolition of the death penalty, the establishment of the International Criminal Court and the implementation of the Beijing platform on Women’s Rights in my capacity as Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). I represented the Irish Council for Civil Liberties at the first ever UN examination of Ireland’s track record under the ICCPR and have a long track record of involvement in human rights issues in Irish law, such as the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the incorporation of the ECHR into Irish law, the abolition of the death penalty and ratification of the International Criminal Court, Victims’ rights, and prisoners’ rights, the Divorce referendum, Referenda on Article 8 of the Constitution, Bail, Marriage Equality, and Citizenship.

From an extracurricular perspective, I am a dog & cat-lover, an enthusiastic skier & hill-walker depending on the season, a fledgling runner, and an orienteering novice.  I am an avid reader and lover of music, dance and all things travel-related!

Recent cases include:

  • O’Farrell, McDonald & Rafferty v Governor of Portlaoise Prison, unreported Ferriter J., 12th January, 2023.
  • DPP v Banks [2022] IESC 7 (conviction for membership of IRA quashed)
  • BK v DPP [2022] IECA 119 (prohibition, delay)
  • DPP v FM [2022] IECA 79 (timing of PO’C application, trial Judge’s discretion to direct an acquittal)
  • Minister for Justice v Imre Arakas [2022] IEHC 676  (EAW – Lithuania – murder)
  • Minister for Justice v Ion Anton [2022] IEHC 293 (EAW – Romania – Murder)
  • Delacey v Governor of Wheatfield Prison & others [2022] IEHC 55 (prison discipline)
  • MS v DPP [2021] IECA 193 (prohibition, delay, disclosure)
  • O’Reilly v The Governor of the Midlands Prison  [2020] IEHC 201 (temporary release)
  • Curley v Governor of Cloverhill Prison, Heslin J, April, 2020 (application of COVID quarantine rules and right to exercise under Prison Rules)
  • PH v DPP [2019] IECA (prohibition, delay, multiplicity of complainants)
  • DPP v Davy [2018] IECA 284 (murder conviction quashed)
  • McK v Minister for Justice [2018] IECA 110 (Hogan J, transfer of sentenced persons – Minister’s discretion to refuse)

Reported cases include:

  • Minister for Justice v Celmer [2020] 1 ILRM 121 ([2019] IESC 80)
  • Minister for Justice and Equality v L.M. (Case C-216/1PPU) EU:C:2018:517 -European Court of Justice decision about extradition and threats to the Rule of law in Poland
  • Rattigan v DPP [2018] 3 IR 417
  • Oates v DPP & Judge Browne [2016] 1 IR 481
  • Kiely v Kerry County Council [2016] 2 IR 1
  • O’Farrell v Governor of Portlaoise Prison [2016] 3 IR 619
  • McDonagh v Garda Commissioner [2015] 4 IR 425
  • Fagan v the Garda Commissioner [2014] 2 IR 253
  • Sweeney v Governor of Loughan House [2014] 2 IR 732
  • Butcher v Minister for Justice [2012] 4 IR 401
  • Carlin v DPP [2010] IR 547
  • Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform v Rettinger [2010] 3 IR 783
  • Keith Farrell v DPP [2009] 2 IR 208
  • AC v DPP [2008] 3 IR 398
  • Rattigan v DPP [2008] 4 IR 639
  • JK v DPP [2006] IESC 56
  • JF v DPP [2005] 2 IR 174
  • PL v Buttimer [2004] 4 IR 494
  • DD v DPP [2004] 3 IR 172
  • McDonagh v Browne [2004] 3 IR 506
  • BJ v DPP [2003] 4 IR 525
  • Hughes v Garavan & DPP [2004] 1 ILRM 401 (SC), [2002] 2 ILRM 127 (HC),
  • Gilligan v Ireland [2000] 4 IR 579

Irish language Cases:

  • Ó Riain v Aire Oideachais, (removal of teaching through Irish allowance) November, 2017
  • Scoil Lorcáin v Aire Oideachais, Hogan J, 29th July, 2017 (access to Irish-language education)
  • Ó Domhnaill v SIPOC [2015] IECA 204, [2014] IEHC 118 (On behalf of SIPOC – application of standards to Údarás na Gaeltachta and County Council members)
  • Ó Muineacháin v An tÚdarás Náisiúnta Iompair, April 2013 (translation of bye-laws)
  • Ó Conaire v MacGruairc  [2010] 3 IR 11 (about use of Irish in criminal proceedings)
  • Ó Baoill v Éire & DPP, 2009 (the appointment of Judges with Irish)
  • Ó Canainn v Éire, July 2009 (the role of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission)
  • MacAodháin v Eire, July 2008 (translation of District Court summonses & other documentation into Irish) Clarke J
  • Breathnach v Minister for Justice, July 2007 (translation of the RTA)
  • Ó Droma v Éire, July 2007 (conduct of a speeding prosecution through Irish)

Former Co-chair of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)

Former Vice-President of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)

Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT)

Advisor with FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres)

Regular commentator on TG4, RTÉ and RnaG about legal developments in an effort to ensure equally well-informed and high-quality debate for Irish-speaking audiences as for English-speaking audiences

Contact Form

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01-817 5363
Law Library Four Courts Dublin 7

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