Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill: the man expected to head IBRC inquiry

Judge worked with Pro-Life Amendment Campaign in early 1980s

Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill: was involved in the C case, in which he represented the parents of the 13-year-old  girl sent to England for an abortion. Photograph: Frank Miller

Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill: was involved in the C case, in which he represented the parents of the 13-year-old girl sent to England for an abortion. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill has been given the task of monitoring conflicts of interest in the IBRC transaction review.

A judge of the High Court for 15 years until his retirement last summer, he has also served as chairman of the Constituency Commission and chairman of the first Lisbon Treaty Referendum Commission.

Born in Galway, he came to Dublin with his family when he was 11. He graduated from University College Dublin and the King’s Inns, was called to the Bar in 1975 and became a senior counsel in 1986. He served on various boards and tribunals, including the Legal Aid Board and Employment Equality Tribunal.

He worked with the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign in the early 1980s as a “principal legal adviser’’. In 1997, he was involved in the C case, in which he represented the parents of the 13-year-old Traveller girl who, while in the custody of the Eastern Health Board, was sent to England for an abortion. He sought, on behalf of the parents, to prevent this.

His appointment to the High Court in 1999 came after the resignation of Mr Justice Cyril Kelly.

On his retirement last June, he was lauded by the Attorney General, Máire Whelan, as having shown “unfailing kindness”, tenacity, high standards and “seamless efficiency” during his time on the bench.