Mr Justice Kevin Feeney dies suddenly in Cork

Expert on defamation on commercial law appointed to High Court in 2006

Mr Justice Kevin Feeney:  Ruled on a number of Criminal Assets Bureau cases    and on personal injuries cases. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Mr Justice Kevin Feeney: Ruled on a number of Criminal Assets Bureau cases and on personal injuries cases. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Wed, Aug 14, 2013, 21:40



The sudden death has taken place of Mr Justice Kevin Feeney (61), who collapsed yesterday while in Ballycotton, Co Cork.

An expert on defamation and commercial law, Mr Justice Feeney was appointed to the High Court in 2006 by the Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrats coalition.

As a High Court judge he ruled on a number of Criminal Assets Bureau cases, including John Gilligan, and on personal injuries cases. In a recent case, he dismissed a challenge by a member of the Irish Sikh community to a refusal to allow those training for the Garda Reserve to wear a turban while on duty.

Educated at Gonzaga College, UCD and the King’s Inns, he was called to the Bar in 1973. He became a senior counsel in 1991.

Described as one of the “young Turks” among senior counsel, he acted in a number of high-profile defamation actions. He represented the Sunday Times in the Thomas “Slab” Murphy case, RTÉ in the Beverley Cooper Flynn case and the Irish Daily Star in the Bradley brothers case.

Paul Gill of Dillon Eustace solicitors and lawyer for the Irish Daily Star described him as a fantastic defamation barrister and “extraordinarily good-humoured”.

As a barrister his practice also included the 279-day Bula and Tara mines case and the lengthy Fyffes and DCC case, as well as prominent medical-negligence cases.

Mr Justice Feeney, who was married with four children, was also keen on sport, particularly tennis which he played at Fitzwilliam and Donnybrook.