Tributes paid after death of former AG
TAOISEACH Brian Cowen led the tributes last night to former Attorney General Rory Brady, who died yesterday from a serious illness.
The 52-year-old, who was married with two teenage children, was chief legal adviser to the Government from 2002-2007. During his time there, he was praised for giving crucial legal advice on the peace process in the North and on legislation to implement the smoking ban and random breath testing for drink drivers.
It is understood Mr Brady was offered the vacancy that recently arose in the Supreme Court but he had to decline due to his ill health.
Mr Cowen said Mr Brady's wisdom was deeply valued and of immense benefit to a succession of Fianna Fail leaders, including Albert Reynolds, Bertie Ahern and himself.
"He was a person of many talents and vast intelligence but he remained always the most modest of gentleman," he said.
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern last night said he was hugely saddened by the death of his friend.
"Rory Brady was an exceptional lawyer, a fantastic political tactician and a loyal and outstanding friend. He was my closest and most trusted colleague at the cabinet table," he said.
Mr Brady was one of a small group of people invited to accompany Mr Ahern when he travelled to Washington to address the US Congress before his resignation in May 2008. The Synge Street and UCD-educated lawyer was a well-known Fianna Fail supporter.
Mr Ahern paid tribute to Mr Brady as a man of unfailing good humour and fun who was hugely popular with all his colleagues.
"Rory fought a very serious illness bravely and with immense fortitude. He was always cheerful and offering encouragement to his friends right up until his passing. I will miss Rory deeply and I will remember him always with enduring respect," he said.
Mr Brady was at the centre of controversy in 2006 after a sex offender known as 'Mr A' was freed by the High Court, prompting public outrage when other convicted prisoners began to challenge their sentences. There were questions about why Mr Brady had not informed the Government about his office's role in the case.
But a report by former civil servant Eddie Sullivan vindicated Mr Brady, finding he had not been notified of the case due to "an administrative error" by an official in his office.
When he returned to private practice in the Four Courts, Mr Brady helped to settle what became known as the 'Battle for Gorse Hill' between RTE broadcaster Pat Kenny and his neighbour over a tiny strip of land. The ownership dispute was settled following 10 hours of mediation led by Mr Brady.
Mr Brady, who lived in Rathmines, Co Dublin, is survived by his wife Siobhan and his two daughters, Aoife and Maeve.