Legal, political figures pay respects to Adrian Hardiman

Large queue of mourners runs from Fanagans Funeral Home down to Whitefriar Place


The queue of people waiting to pay their respects this evening to the late Supreme Court judge Adrian Hardiman ran from deep inside Fanagans Funeral Home out onto Dublin’s Aungier Street and wound its way, two to three people deep, about half way down nearby Whitefriar Place.

Between 5pm and 7pm, several hundred colleagues and friends from a variety of walks of life came to pay their respects to a man they remembered for his intellect, his eclectic interests, his spirit of generosity and his wit.

Inside the funeral home, Mr Justice Hardiman’s widow, Judge Yvonne Murphy, and their sons, Daniel, Eoin and Hugh, accepted condolences from wellwishers in an atmosphere that was anything but maudlin.

They smiled and spoke easily of his having had a good life, and that when death came, while being unexpected, it was, for him, without pain.

The family chose his favoured attire for the repose - a dark, pin-striped suit and his tie from the Honourable Society of King’s Inns - the barristers’ professional body and Ireland’s oldest school of law.

Mr Justice Hardiman, who was aged 64, died at home in Dublin on March 7th. He had been a judge of the Supreme Court since early 2000, appointed straight from the Bar to which he had been called in 1974.

Widely regarded

He was widely regarded as one of the finest legal minds of his, or any previous, generation. He was a renowned defender of civil liberties and of the citizen’s rights against the State.

Among the many who came to pay their respects was former Progressive Democrat leader Mary Harney, who was tánaiste when Mr Hardiman was elevated to the bench.

“He was a very good friend to me in so many ways,” she said. “He was certainly the brightest person I ever knew.”

Former Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte also spoke fondly of him.

“He was my original rival in student politics and was the only student I ever knew who wore a pin-striped suit,” said Mr Rabbitte.

“He was unusual in his erudition. He had his foibles, but was better able to give expression to them than most.”

His funeral will take place on Thursday morning in the Church of the Holy Name in Ranelagh.

Orations due

Orations are expected to be given by Michael McDowell SC and Trinity College Dublin historian Patrick Geoghegan.

Those paying their respects on Wednesday night included, from the legal world, Attorney General Marie Whelan, former Chief Justice John Murray, Supreme Court judges John Mac Menamin and Frank Clarke, judges of the Court of Appeal George Birmingham and Garret Sheehan, High Court judge Colm Mac Eochaidh, former Supreme Court judge Hugh O’Flaherty, former High Court judge and chairman of the Residential Institutions Redress Board Esmond Smyth, barristers Gerry Danaher, Colm Condon, David Hegarty, Jim O’Callaghan, and Edward Walsh and his wife, Constance Cassidy, solicitor and human rights activist Michael Farrell, and solicitor Alan Graham.

Political figures present included Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Charlie McCreevy and his wife Noeleen McCreevy, Mary Harney, Pat Rabbitte, Conor Lenihan, Alex White, Tom Parlon, Joe O’Toole, Liam Cosgrave jnr, and former European Commissioner Dick Burke.

Also in attendance were chancellor of the National University of Ireland Maurice Manning, Garda Ombudsman Commissioner Carmel Foley, Ireland’s ambassador to the OSCE Philip McDonagh, former chairman of the Labour Court John Horgan, restaurateur and developer Arthur ffrench-O’Carroll, and media figures Seán O’Rourke, David Davin-Power, Kevin Healy, Vincent Browne, Stephen O’Byrnes, Geraldine Kennedy and Stephen Collins.