FORMER Supreme Court Judge Anthony Hederman was described as "a quiet hero and a complete man" at his funeral.
Paying tribute to the 92-year old judge, who died last Friday after a short illness, former Chief Justice John Murray hailed him as someone who had "a passionate and deep love of his country".
Many members of the legal world attended the requiem Mass at St Vincent's Castleknock College chapel in Dublin yesterday -- the alma mater of Mr Hederman. The chief mourner was his sister Miriam, brother-in-law Bill and nieces and nephew Donat, Aoife, Eilis, Dervilla and Murrough; the large congregation included Chief Justice Susan Denham, Supreme Court Justices Adrian Hardiman, Frank Clarke, Mary Laffoy, Elizabeth Dunne and John McMenamin.
President Michael D Higgins was represented by his aide-de-camp Comdt James Galvin.
The Mass was celebrated by Father Peter Slevin, President of Castleknock College, and the homily was delivered by Judge Hederman's long-standing friend, Father Brian D'Arcy. In his eulogy, Fr Darcy spoke of the deep faith of Mr Justice Hederman and how he had been "adamant that law should be a vocation and not just a profession".
The Naas-born judge was called to the Bar in 1944 and served as Attorney General from 1977 to 1981, before being appointed to the Supreme Court where he served until 1993.
He was the sole dissenter in the landmark 1992 X-Case judgment -- a decision which Fr D'Arcy said "was one of the most difficult parts of his life".
After the Mass, the funeral cortege walked up the hill to a small graveyard on the grounds. Traditionally, it is the resting-place only for priests attached to Castleknock College, but in deference to Mr Justice Hederman's devotion to his old school and to his faith, he was buried within its walls.