A former pupil of St. Mary’s Primary School, Banbridge and Our Lady’s Grammar School, Newry, Clare was introduced to the court by another Banbridge practitioner, Mrs Hilary Dobson.
Mrs Dobson told Resident Magistrate Mr Paul Copeland how Clare completed a degree in Law with Government at the University of Ulster at Jordanstown and then completed her professional exams at The Institute of Professional Legal Studies in Belfast.
She served her period of restriction in the firm of Paul L Downey & Company Solicitors of which her father is the principal.
Mrs Dobson said, “In this Court Division the relationship between solicitors is characterised in general by professionalism, mutual respect, courtesy and cooperation and this extends to our dealing with the judiciary, the Bar the Prosecution Service and the Court Staff.
“I have every confidence that Miss Downey’s inclusion as a fully qualified member of the profession will only serve to enhance and strengthen these standards and I formally welcome her and wish her every success in her future career.”
Mr Copeland said the court was particularly pleased to welcome Miss Downey to Banbridge Magistrates Court, albeit sitting in Newry.
He added, “She comes to court with a high quality excellent academic record and joins the local bar from a distinguished family of legal practitioners - in particular her father who is well known and highly respected in this court and with all the other agencies.
“Coming from such a refined high calibre stable, I have every confidence that you will maintain the high standard this court has come to expect. I am sure everyone here associated with the practice of the law will join me in giving you the most warm welcome and I offer my best wishes for your future career.”
The Prosecution Service also welcomed Clare and wished her every success in her career.