Tributes paid as death announced of Mr Justice Paul Carney
TRIBUTES have been led by the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, on the death today of High Court judge Mr Justice Paul Carney.
Judge Carney, the listing judge of the Central Criminal Court, was the country’s most experienced criminal law judge who heard in excess of 100 murder and rape trials during his lifetime.
The married father of four did not want to leave the bench, but was forced to retire earlier this year on age grounds.
Last March Judge Carney, who won widespread praise for bringing the Central Criminal Court “on circuit” – allowing trials to be heard by local juries – told colleagues “There is nothing voluntary about my going.”
This afternoon Judge Kearns paid tribute to Judge Carney.
In a statement, Judge Kearns said the death of Judge Carney, coming as it does so soon after his recent retirement, is a sad loss for his family and for the judiciary which he served with such distinction for so many years.
“He was the pre-eminent criminal law judge in the Central Criminal Court in our time, presiding in a long career over well more than a hundred murder and rape trials,” said Judge Kearns.
“He did so with exemplary fairness throughout, a fact acknowledged by not only by practitioners but in many instances also by those standing trial before him. He will be greatly missed, particularly by his colleagues in the High Court, who held him in such high esteem”.
Judge Carney was called to the Bar in 1966 and was appointed a High Court judge in 1991.
He presided over hundreds of civil and criminal cases, including some of the country’s most high-profile rape, murder and manslaughter cases including those involving Wayne O’Donoghue, Michael Bambrick and sisters Linda and Charlotte Mulhall.
He was also a member of the three-judge High Court which heard the case of Marie Fleming, the late Multiple Sclerosis sufferer who challenged the law making assisted suicide a criminal offence.
The removal to the Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook will take place on Tuesday (September 29), arriving for Funeral Mass at 11.30am and then to Deans Grange Cemetery.
The family have requested no flowers but donations, in lieu, can be sent to the Victim Support at Court or TRUST. The house will be private.