Fianna Fáil’s Justice Spokesperson, Jim O’Callaghan TD has warned the Government that any further delays in appointing judges would be unacceptable to him and his party, and would result in Irish people not having their cases heard and justice achieved in a timely manner.

Deputy O’Callaghan was reacting to comments made by the Minister for Transport and Sport, Shane Ross TD on behalf of the Independent Alliance which suggested that they would veto any judicial appointments until the middle of 2017.

“This is a shocking situation facing the judicial system in Ireland. Backlogs in having cases heard are already building, and Minister Ross is still opposing the one measure that will ensure that Irish litigants, and victims of crime, will have their cases heard promptly in court.”

“My own bill, the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2016, would, if the Government accepted it, ensure that the appointment of additional judges would be transparent, and based on merit.”

“We cannot have a situation where we must wait for Minister Ross’ Reform Bill until March 2017 at the earliest. It is for the Oireachtas, not the Minister for Transport, to decide how our judicial appointments system will be reformed.”

“Minister Ross should be concentrating on the future of rail services, not issues outside his ministerial responsibility.”

“The Government should accept the Fianna Fáil bill, and move as quickly as possible to expedite the appointment of additional judges,” concluded the Dublin Bay South TD.