Mr Justice Peter Kelly was due to travel to the Phoenix Park and accept his seal of office from President Michael D Higgins at 3pm, but a late application to the High Court meant it did not go ahead until 6pm.
Businessman Jerry Beades sought an interim order prohibiting the appointment of Mr Justice Kelly to the third highest court in the land. He also sought an order stopping Mr Justice Kelly taking his seat on the bench until there has been a proper examination as to his suitability.
The businessman, from Richmond Avenue, Fairview, Dublin, claimed in an affidavit that, when adjudicating matters in relation to Mr Beades, Mr Justice Kelly did so in an allegedly biased manner.
After hearing the application, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan refused it, and also refused to grant a stay pending an appeal to the Supreme Court. The judge also awarded costs against Mr Beades.
Mr Justice Gilligan said there had been a delay in making the application. It was, he said, designed to cause acute embarrassment to Mr Justice Kelly on “the day that is in it”.
Eogan Fitzsimons, counsel for the State, contended the application was without merit, vexatious, and an abuse of process, and should be struck out.
Mr Beades later said he will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.