independent

Friday 25 April 2014

Tributes to 'truth-seeking' judge

Judge Henry Barron passed away on Thursday evening following a short illness

Tributes have been paid to a former judge who was remembered for trying to seek the truth for victims of the Troubles.

Mr Justice Henry Barron was critical of the British and Irish Governments and security forces in several reports he wrote on atrocities during the seventies.

The 81-year-old passed away after a short illness at St Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin on Thursday evening.

Margaret Urwin, of campaign group Justice for the Forgotten, said Judge Barron was a decent man who made a difference to people's lives.

"He wasn't afraid to name names, he wasn't afraid to criticise the Irish and British Governments, and he wasn't afraid of the security forces north or south of the border," she said.

"The British security forces, the state and the Cosgrave coalition all came for heavy criticisms from Judge Barron. It gave families some sort of closure."

Judge Barron spent 15 years as a High Court judge and made history by granting Ireland's first divorce in 1997. He was appointed to the Supreme Court later that year.

After retiring from the bench in 2000, he was commissioned by the Government to probe the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974 when 34 people, including an unborn baby, died.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen expressed his condolences to the judge's children and wider family.

"As the sole member of the Commission of Inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974 and into a number of other bombings and atrocities which occurred in this state during the 1970s, he undertook his task with great sensitivity and thoroughness," he added.

Press Association

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