Former AG Peter Sutherland to be buried on Thursday

Figures from the worlds of law and politics pay tribute to long-serving statesman

The funeral of former attorney general and statesman Peter Sutherland is to take place on Thursday in Donnybrook in Dublin.

His remains reposed at Carnegies Funeral Home in Monkstown on Wednesday, where hundreds of mourners filed past his coffin before expressing their sympathies to his wife Maruja and three children, Shane, Natalia and Ian.

Politicians and current and former members of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court were among those in attendance, including Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan, Ms Justice Catherine McGuinness and Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan.

Mr Sutherland died on Sunday morning at St James’s Hospital in Dublin at the age of 71 following a long illness.


During a long career, Mr Sutherland served in senior positions in the worlds of law, business and government. His most recent post was as the United Nations special representative for international migration.

He also held the positions of director-general of the World Trade Organisation; chairman of the London School of Economics; a member of the UN commission on human security; chairman of the European Institute of Public Administration and chairman of British Petroleum.

Two spells

Born in Dublin in April 1946, Mr Sutherland was educated at Gonzaga College in Ranelagh before going on to study law at University College Dublin. He worked as a senior counsel for more than a decade before being appointed attorney general in 1981 by the Fine Gael-Labour coalition, the first of two spells in the role.

Leading tributes to Mr Sutherland, President Michael D Higgins commended his efforts in "tirelessly campaigning for global solutions to human trafficking and forced migration" while working with the UN.

Following his death, Mr Sutherland’s family said in a statement: “We were also so proud of his patriotism, whether manifested through supporting his beloved Irish rugby team, his support of education at Gonzaga, UCD, Trinity or elsewhere, his formal and informal service to Irish governments of all hues and his work with the Ireland Fund of Great Britain which he was proud to chair and support.

“Others noticed his success in public life and his material success from business. We loved Papa because he was devoted to us and we to him.”

Mr Sutherland will be buried in Kilternan Cemetery after requiem mass at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook, at 11am on Thursday.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times