Up to 20 new High Court judges are still required to deal with Covid backlogs, the president of the High Court has said.

During a preliminary hearing yesterday, Mrs Justice Mary Irvine said the court “is short about 18 or 20 judges at the moment and we have arrears across all divisions”, the Irish Independent reports.

She went on to say she was not able to set a date for the two-day hearing of ex-Rehab Group CEO Angela Kerins’s damages claim against the Dáil because “we are very short of judges in Dublin”.

The judge’s comments come roughly a year after she first issued a widely-reported call for the appointment of 15 to 20 new judges.

The government subsequently appointed five new judges, with Mrs Justice Irvine saying she was “speechless” at the low number.