Statement by Chairman of the Bar Council on the death of The Hon. Mr Justice Paul Carney

28 September 2015

The Bar Council of Ireland has paid tribute to the Honourable Mr. Justice Paul Carney, the recently retired Senior Ordinary Judge of the High Court and Presiding Judge of the Central Criminal Court, who passed away today (September 24, 2015).

Chairman David Barniville SC said that when Mr Carney retired from the Central Criminal Court earlier this year after 24 years’ service as a High Court judge, he left it ‘in a far better place than it was when he found it’.

“The legal profession and the people of Ireland have lost a giant today. The industry and dedication Mr Justice Carney showed to his job was the hallmark of his 24 years as a judge. ‘No legacy is so rich as honesty’ and that is certainly true in his case. The legal profession will forever have unfeigned respect for him and for the fiercely independent way in which he discharged his duties.

“Through his involvement is some of the most infamous legal cases in the history of the State, he very reluctantly became a household name, known for his deep and fundamental sense of fairness and justice.

“One of the most important achievements of his time as the Presiding Judge in the

Central Criminal Court was his decision in 2003 to bring that Court outside Dublin to sit at various venues around the country. He felt that justice should be brought to the people and this form of ‘judicial decentralisation’ was an integral part of the tremendous legacy he leaves in his wake.

“In addition to the great work he did on the Bench and in court he also contributed very significantly to the public’s understanding of the law and the Irish legal system, through his acceptance of the positions of Adjunct Professor of Law in UCC and NUI Maynooth, and through public speeches and his involvement in initiatives such as the schools mock trials competitions.

On behalf of the Bar of Ireland, I extend our deepest sympathies to his wife and our colleague Dr Marjorie Young and their four children.”