Statement by the Council of The Bar of Ireland on the death of the Hon. Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman

07 February 2016

February 7, 2016:  The Chairman of The Council of The Bar of Ireland Mr David Barniville SC said that the Honorable Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman was ‘a colossus at the Bar and Bench’ and that his sudden and untimely death last night marks a moment of greats sadness for the entire legal profession in Ireland. 

A judge at the Supreme Court of Ireland since 2000, Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman was called to the Bar in 1974 and practised successfully as a barrister for many years, taking Silk in 1989 and appearing in countless landmark cases and tribunals. On the Supreme Court, Justice Hardiman wrote many leading judgments, perhaps most notably on the Separation of Powers.

On behalf of the Council of The Bar of Ireland, Mr David Barniville SC has expressed his deepest sympathy to Justice Hardiman’s wife Yvonne Murphy (formerly a judge of the Circuit Court) their three sons Eoin (also a barrister), Hugh and Daniel, his daughter in law Alison, and his two grandchildren.

Chairman of the Council of The Bar of Ireland David Barniville SC said: “It was with great sadness and shock this morning that we learned of the death of Justice Adrian Hardiman.  Justice Hardiman was a colossus at the Bar and Bench who was highly regarded and respected by all who knew him. He was arguably the leading advocate and jurist of his generation, and worked across a vast range of specialist areas. He presided over nearly every constitutional case since his appointment to the Supreme Court in 2000, leaving an indelible mark in Irish history.

One of The Bar of Ireland’s most recent fond memories of Justice Hardiman was his role in presiding over a mock trial held with students from St Audoen’s National School on Cook Street in December. He was unfailingly generous with his time and knowledge and took enormous pride in mentoring new barristers and students.

His interests were varied, but perhaps amongst the most notable were Irish politics, history and culture – in particular James Joyce. He wrote extensively on legal history and just last month delivered a very memorable lecture about the trial of Robert Emmet, in Green Street Court House where the trial took place in 1803.

We have lost one of the greatest legal minds of the last generation, as well as a respected and loved colleague. May he rest in peace.” he said.

Justice Hardiman was a member of the executive committee of the Association of Judges of Ireland, an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy, and also a former Judge-in-Residence in University College Dublin. As well as a member of the Bar of Ireland he was also a member of the Northern Ireland Bar and a Master of the Bench of the Middle Temple, London. He graduated in history at University College Dublin and in Law at the Honourable Society of Kings Inns.