Thursday 8 December 2016

'Father of the Bar' Gaffney dies aged 100

Published 05/11/2016 | 02:30

'Father of the Bar' Maurice Gaffney
'Father of the Bar' Maurice Gaffney

Tributes have been paid to Ireland's oldest practising barrister, who has died at the age of 100.

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Maurice Gaffney SC, known as the "Father of the Bar", had worked as a barrister since 1954, specialising in probate, conveyancing, labour and employment law.

He had been a senior counsel since 1970 and continued practising until very recently.

Mr Gaffney passed away at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin on Thursday and is survived by his wife Leonie and children John and Patricia.

Bar Council chairman Paul McGarry described Mr Gaffney as a "brilliant constitutional and criminal lawyer" who was "universally loved, as well as being universally admired".

"Above all, Maurice was a wonderful colleague and a natural gentleman. His drive for excellence and determination, his can-do spirit and his commitment to the Bar will inspire and stay with us always," said Mr McGarry.

A fluent Irish-speaker, Mr Gaffney was born in Co Meath, but moved to Dublin as a child.

In an interview with the Irish Independent in 2014, after receiving a lifetime achievement award, Mr Gaffney said: "I recognise that I'll have to retire sometime, but for the moment I'm so happy in life and with what I'm doing."

His remains will repose at his home from 2.30pm today, with removal to St Patrick's Church, Monkstown, arriving at 4.30pm. The funeral Mass will take place on Monday morning at 10am followed by burial in Kilternan.

Irish Independent

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