Former AG Rory Brady dies


The former attorney general Rory Brady SC has died.

He served as the attorney general of Ireland and as a member of the Council of State from June 2002 to June 2007.

Mr Brady surprised many in June 2007 when he announced he would not be seeking reappointment to the Office of the Attorney General. He returned to his legal practice as a senior counsel and became a visiting fellow at Harvard.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen led tributes to Mr Brady by describing him as one of the “finest and most able barristers of his time” with an “incisive and sharp mind” and a “tremendous ability” to deal with the most complex of legal issues.

He also said Mr Rory Brady had an “engaging personality” and was held in great affection and strong esteem by all of his cabinet colleagues.

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern expressed sadness at the death of "an exceptional lawyer, a fantastic political tactician and a loyal and outstanding friend".

"He was a great Dubliner who had a strong affinity with his native city. He was a proud Irishman who has given this nation immense service. . . . He was my closest and most trusted colleague at the cabinet table. He was never anything less than brilliant. It was a true privilege to work alongside such a dedicated and capable person," Mr Ahern said.

Describing him as possessing a "low-key, quiet, unassuming style," Mr Ahern said the former attorney general had made a "stunning contribution" to government and to Ireland’s progress, adding his contribution to bringing peace to Northern Ireland was "extraordinarily significant".

"Rory fought a very serious illness bravely and with immense fortitude. He was always cheerful and offering encouragement to his friends right up until his passing. I will miss Rory deeply and I will remember him always with enduring respect."

Born on August 20th, 1957, Mr Brady attended Synge Street school before going on to study law in University College Dublin where he was awarded a Bachelor of Civil Law Degree in 1978. Mr Brady was called to the Irish Bar at The Honorable Society of King's Inns in 1979.

A native of the Liberties, Mr Brady was formerly chairman of the Bar Council. Throughout his legal career he was closely associated with Fianna Fáil, representing the party at the McCracken Tribunal and later the Moriarty and Flood tribunals. He was also counsel to the then taoiseach Bertie Ahern in a libel action, and, following the appointment of Michael McDowell as Attorney General, gave general legal advice to the party.

Mr Brady was a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and was appointed to the chair of the Takeover Panel in April 2008.

That same year he mediated in a high-profile dispute between the broadcaster Pat Kenny and his neighbour solicitor Gerard Charlton over a "rocky outcrop" known as Gorse Hill. The case was settled when Mr Kenny agreed to buy the 0.2 acre piece of land which adjoined the Kenny and Charlton family lands.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.