GARRISON native, Steven Keown has recently been appointed as a District Judge. Mr Keown was sworn into office on 19 December 2018 before Sir Declan Morgan, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.
Speaking to the Hearld Mr Keown said he was ‘absolutely honoured’ by the appointment.
“After a lengthy and rigorous application process, I was very proud to be sworn in at the High Court. As well as being delighted, I am also very conscious of the responsibility that comes with the job, and the need to work hard to ensure I fulfil my duties to the best of my abilities.”
The former pupil of St Michael’s College, Enniskillen said he had always been fascinated by law and knew from an early age that he wanted to be a lawyer. He went on to set up his own firm aged 29. “I have been representing clients in court on an almost daily basis ever since and during that time my aspirations to become a judge grew. It’s a very unique job and I am really looking forward to it.”
Most recently Mr Keown held the role of managing director in McCallion Keown Solicitors and along with the managerial responsibilities of the role, he was also responsible for case preparation and advocacy in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court. He was Head of both the Criminal Department and the Family and Matrimonial Department where he oversaw cases in both the Family Proceedings Court and Domestic Proceedings Court.
Mr Keown remarked that he was looking forward to a ‘fresh challenge’ in his new role.
“I am really looking forward to the fresh challenge after 20 years of working in private practice. Every day will be different and provide new challenges and I am very excited by that prospect.
“I have not been assigned to a particular court, and probably won’t be for quite some time. That means I will be sitting all over Northern Ireland and will often be in a different court every day.”
Although leading a busy work life in Belfast Mr Keown still has close links to Fermanagh. “I come from a large family who are spread out all over Ireland. We try to make the effort to get together in Garrison as much as possible. I love Fermanagh, and a weekend “down home” is a wonderful contrast from my busy life in Belfast.”
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Posted: 4:43 pm January 4, 2019