Huge turnout for Justice Kevin Feeney funeral in Dublin
The passions of Justice Kevin Feeney’s life “were family, friendship, work and sport”
John O’Shea former CEO of GOAL photographed at the funeral of Mr Justice Kevin Feeney at the Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook, Dublin, today. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times
Mr Justice Gerard Hogan photographed at the funeral of Mr Justice Kevin Feeney at the Sacred Heart Church,Donnybrook Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times
He was speaking at the end of the funeral Mass for Justice Feeney at the Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook, Dublin this morning. Justice Feeney (61), who was appointed to the High Court in 2006, died suddenly last Tuesday in Ballycotton Co Cork.
“We’re all still in a state of disbelief at his sudden death,” Justice Kearns continued. Family “always remained extremely close...he was devastated when (his brother) John died so tragically (in a 1984 plane crash at Eastbourne in England).”
He recalled that Kevin Feeney exhibited a sense of justice at an early age. His brother Jim was 16 and Kevin 8 when Jim got a bicycle. “He protested with a placard outside his father’s study which read ‘No Bicycle. No Justice’.”
His had been “a wonderful married life, blessed with four children, who have really been consoling us over the past few days.” Among his “law family” he enjoyed “great professional success “ His “courtroom advocacy skills were superb” and when appointed to the High Court “he took over a difficult case list. He never complained about being overworked or under-resourced.”
As a lover of sport he was “for many years a member of the Phoenix Cricket Club” where “he defended the wicket like the Spartans at Thermopylae.”
To much laughter Justice Kearns then recalled a golfing trip to Scotland Kevin Feeney organised for colleagues on the bench as part of an outing for the judciary in these islands. The van he hired was so small it resulted in one eminent Irish judge sitting on another’s knee while a third ended up with the golf clubs in the boot. “He is an immense loss to us all,” he said. “All feel we have lost a great friend.”
Jim McArdle recalled “we were best man for each other and probably best friends for 45 years,” and did what he felt Justice Feeney would have done for him were roles reversed.
He read Shakespeare’s sonnet When to Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought, emphasising those last lines “which are particularly poignant.” They were “But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, All losses are restored and sorrows end.” He felt “nothing but incredible sadness at this moment.”