Mr Justice Seamus Woulfe is sitting as a judge of the Supreme Court for the first time today.

He is sitting with Mr Justice Donal O'Donnell and Mr Justice Peter Charleton to hear applications for leave to appeal to the court.

They will consider the three applications in chambers or in private, as is usual for applications for leave.

In the current circumstances, the sitting will take place via video conference with the judges in their separate homes or chambers.

Mr Justice Woulfe, a former Attorney General, was appointed to the court last July after the change in Government.

But his appointment became the subject of controversy when he attended an Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Galway in August as public health restrictions to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic were tightened. 

In very unusual developments, the Supreme Court announced the establishment of a review of the circumstances surrounding his attendance at the dinner, carried out by former Chief Justice Susan Denham.

Although she said what he had done did not warrant resignation, a  transcript of Mr Justice Woulfe's submissions to the review caused further controversy and commentary. 

The court released correspondence with Mr Justice Woulfe, culminating in the current Chief Justice Frank Clarke expressing the view that Mr Justice Woulfe should resign. 

As part of an informal resolution of the matter, it was suggested that Mr Justice Woulfe should not sit on the court for a period of three months. That time period has now elapsed.

As well as today's sitting, he is also due to be a member of two further Supreme Court panels this month, to consider further applications for leave to appeal. 

It is reported that Mr Justice Woulfe, who has no previous judicial experience, will sit on the Court of Appeal during March.