The Government has agreed to nominate Supreme Court judge Donal O'Donnell to be the next Chief Justice.

Mr Justice O’Donnell will succeed the current Chief Justice Frank Clarke who is due to retire in October.

His nomination was approved at Cabinet today after his name was brought to ministers by the Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys.

The nomination followed discussions between the Attorney General, Paul Gallagher and the three Government party leaders.

He was appointed directly from the bar to the Supreme Court in 2010 and was seen in legal circles as the favourite for the position.

Mr Justice O’Donnell, who is 63, was born in Belfast, but attended UCD and practised in Dublin.

He became a senior counsel in 1995.

His father, Turlough O’Donnell was a member of the High Court in Northern Ireland and the Court of Appeal there. His brother, Turlough, is also a Senior Counsel.