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The Ritz Hotel

The default position in court proceedings is that the parties appear and speak for themselves. Nobody currently claims that this is a preferred option. In fact, it is avoided by the courts when possible. See HERE.

Ireland has neglected to make proper provision for the representation of litigants in court proceedings, as recorded HERE.

An ongoing event in Dublin is of interest in this context. The event is a civil action. The families of the victims of the Omagh bombing by the IRA are suing defendants they say perpetrated the bombing. Under new EU provisions the court has decamped from Belfast to Dublin. While in Dublin it is presided over by a District Court judge. The judge of the Belfast High Court is sitting alongside the Dublin District Court judge (and is taking a lively and central part in the proceedings, sensibly enough).

No less than six senior barristers (Queen;s counsel and Senior counsel) were ranged up before the two judges. (In addition there was usually a junior barrister for each senior and at least one solicitor for each senior.)

Much of the cost of this hearing is being paid for by legal aid under the law of Northern Ireland, from the UK Treasury ultimately.

That, although happening in Dublin, is foreign to Dublin or anywhere in the State.

It is inconceivable, impossible really, for such litigation to occur without the involvement of lawyers. The absence of funding for such a case in Ireland ensures the denial of justice without the embarrassment of a positive refusal by the Irish Executive (the Government), or the judiciary, of funding.