The Honorable Sir Donnell Deeny

Image of The Honorable Sir Donnell Deeny

The Honorable Sir Donnell Deeny is a native of Lurgan, Co. Armagh. He read Legal Science in Trinity College after school at Clongowes Wood College in Co. Kildare.

He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1974 and practised there, taking silk in 1989, until his appointment to the High Court in 2004. He was knighted in 2005. He is now the Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division. He is a member of the Irish Bar, to which he was appointed Senior Counsel in 1996. He is also a member of the English Bar; being elected a Bencher of the Middle Temple in 2006.

Sir Donnell has also been active outside the field of Law; in Northern Ireland and across the border, serving as High Sherriff of Belfast in 1983, Chairman of Opera Northern Ireland, Trustee of the Ulster Museum and as a Director of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and Hearth Social Housing. He was the founding Chairman of the Ireland Professorship of Poetry, which sends a distinguished poet to Trinity College Dublin, Queen's University Belfast and University College Dublin in triennial procession. Sir Donnell chairs the United Kingdom Spoliation Advisory Panel, which advises Government and the museum and galleries sector throughout the UK on the return of art spoliated during the Nazi era. He is President of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society and an Honorary Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

His one hundred and sixty six Judgements in decided cases in a variety of fields are available at His wife, Alison, is also a Trinity graduate, as is the eldest of his five children.

The Honorable Sir Donnell Deeny was elected as the 56th Pro-Chancellor of the University in 2014.