Judiciary and politicians attend funeral of former Chief Justice


The former Chief Justice, Mr Liam Hamilton, used his talents well in his profession and made a "significant mark on the public life of Ireland", the congregation at his funeral Mass in Dublin on Saturday was told. Mr Hamilton, who was 72, died on Wednesday.

The President, Mrs McAleese, and her husband, Martin, joined Mrs Maeve Hamilton and her daughters Julie and Ruth and son William, Mr Hamilton's sister Patricia, brother David and sons-in-law Michael and An drew for the Mass in the Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook.

The Taoiseach was represented by his aide-de-camp, Capt Duncan Nugent. The Tanaiste, Ms Harney, members of the Government, the judiciary and the court services also attended.

The chief celebrant, Mgr Seamus Conway, a family friend, said Mr Hamilton had "a fine intellect, a warm, engaging personality, abundant energy and stamina, a tremendous capacity for hard work, a gift of humanity and compassion". He had achieved much and "made a significant mark on the public life of Ireland".

Mgr Conway noticed since his death how people remarked on his "tremendous civility and courtesy, particularly those who appeared before him in court".

Mr William Hamilton said his father was a wonderful man with whom he had 29 beautiful years. He was besotted with his four grandsons. "They have been deprived of getting to know a wonderful man."

The huge congregation also included the Minister for Education, Dr Woods, the Minister for Justice, Mr O'Donoghue, the Attorney General, Mr Michael McDowell SC, and Minister of State Mr Eoin Ryan.

Each member of the Supreme Court attended: the Chief Justice, Mr Ronan Keane, Ms Susan Denham, Mr John Murray, Ms Catherine McGuinness, Mr Frank Murphy, Mr Adrian Hardiman, Mr Hugh Geoghegan and Mr Nial Fennelly.

The High Court President, Mr Justice Morris, attended with High Court judges Mr Feargus Flood, Mr Peter Kelly, Miss Mella Carroll, Mr Paul Carney, Mr Kevin O'Higgins, Mr Richard Johnson, Mr Vivian Lavan, Mr Nicholas Kearns, Mr Diarmuid O'Donovan, Mr Liam McKechnie, Mr Michael Moriarty, Mr Roderick Murphy, Mr Joseph Finnegan and Mr Aindrias O Caoimh.

Judge Alison Lindsay and Judge Elizabeth Dunne of the Circuit Court were present as was Judge Donnchadh O Buachalla of the District Court.

Retired Chief Justices Mr Thomas O'Higgins and Mr Thomas Finlay attended as did former Supreme Court judges Mr Kevin Lynch, Mr John Blayney and Mr Donal Barrington; the former president of the High Court, Mr Declan Costello, and Mr Seamus Henchy, a former High Court judge.

Former Attorneys Generals present included Mr Harry Whelehan SC, Mr Dermot Glee son SC, Mr Patrick Connolly SC, Mr Colm Condon SC and Mr John Rogers SC.

Garda Commissioner Mr Pat Byrne, Mr Seamus MacKenna SC, Mr Gerry Danaher SC, musician Paddy Cole, the chief executive of the FAI, Mr Bernard O'Byrne, were also among the congregation.

Other politicians who were present included the former Minister for Justice, Mrs Nora Owen, Ms Mary Banotti MEP, Mr Conor Lenihan TD, Senator Michael O'Kennedy and Senator Liam Cosgrave.

Mr Hamilton was buried at Shanganagh Cemetery.