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Deane becomes first ever Erris judge


NEW APPOINTMENT New district court judge Vincent Deane is pictured at a function back in 2012 with retired Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy.

Anton McNulty

Mayo State Solicitor Vincent Deane has been appointed as a judge to the district court and in the process will become the first Erris native to be appointed to the bench.
A native of Bangor Erris, Vincent Deane has been the state solicitor for Co Mayo since 2010 and is regarded as one of the most respected legal practitioners in the county. There was widespread delight in Castlebar Courthouse last Wednesday morning when news spread of Mr Deane’s appointment.
In paying tribute to his fellow Erris native, Brendan McDonagh said his appointment was ‘a proud day for Erris’ as he will become the first Erris native to be appointed as a judge.
“As a fellow Erris and Kiltane man he has been a fantastic friend and I have no doubt he will make a superb judge. He has all the finest attributes one would hope to find in members of the judiciary.
“On behalf of the people of Kiltane and Erris I have no doubt it is a proud day for us all. I think he is the first Erris native to be appointed to the bench. There are many members of the judiciary with connections to Erris but I think Mr Deane is the first true native person to be appointed to the bench and I wish him the best,” he said.
In reply Mr Deane said he was not aware he was the first Erris judge but  is very proud of the honour and thanked his parents Eamon and Bridget and brother Seán for their support.
Mr Deane was educated in Our Lady’s Secondary School in Belmullet and attended the Regional Technical College in Galway before completing a B Comm at University College Galway. He later undertook legal studies and received an LLB at UCG in the mid 1990s.
He served his apprenticeship with Gilmartin and Murphy Solicitors in Kiltimagh and then moved to the Chief State Solicitor’s office before moving to the DPP’s office. He gained experience in criminal litigation and also gave lectures on case law regarding drunken driving.

Returned to Mayo
He returned to Mayo in 2010 when he was appointed the State Solicitor for Mayo to succeed Seamus Hughes who was appointed a district court judge in 2009.
Mr Charlie Gilmartin was among the solicitors to pay tribute to Mr Deane saying that he came to him as a ‘young enthusiast apprentice many years ago’ and he was delighted to hear he was appointed as a judge.
Circuit Court Judge Eoin Garavan said everyone was delighted to hear of Mr Deane’s appointment and was in no doubt that he will make an excellent judge. He said his partnership with prosecuting barrister Pat Reynolds in the way they presented cases was a credit to the DPP.
“There is no doubt the pair of Vincent Deane and Pat Reynolds were a credit to the DPP’s office and they were an exemplary team to deal with. There were honest and decent and everything was done properly by the book and there was never any difficulty,” he said.
Superintendent Joe McKenna, speaking on behalf of An Garda Síochána thanked Mr Deane for the support he provided the gardaí while barrister Diarmuid Connolly said that while he has a deep knowledge of the law ‘his fundamental skill and attribute is his knowledge and understanding of people’.
Tributes were also paid to Mr Deane from Judge Brian O’Callaghan, Pat Reynolds and members of the court service and media.
Mr Deane thanked all his colleagues for their kind words and saying they were a pleasure to work with and will ‘miss the craic’ around the court house. He said he would be forever grateful to Mr Gilmartin for giving him his chance in law and thanked Pat Reynolds and the team in his office for their dedication.

Hughes tribute
Mr Deane also paid tribute to his predecessor Seamus Hughes and felt it was a nice tribute that he received the news of his appointment not long after Judge Hughes passed away.
“It is not lost to me that Seamus was the state solicitor before me and such a great colleague to me. He was already a legend in the state’s solicitor association. When I was appointed he was such a help to me and he steered me right and I think of him,” he said.