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Tuesday 20 February 2018

A lovely, caring man who always got to the truth – judge's family bid farewell

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

RETIRED Supreme Court Judge Kevin Lynch (inset), who became a household name with the Kerry Babies Tribunal in the 1980s, was "dedicated to the search for truth and justice" throughout his career.

Chief mourners at his funeral in Dublin were Mr Justice Lynch's wife of 56 years, Bernadette, their children Kevin, Mary, Patricia, Margaret and Eddie, their 14 grandchildren and Mr Justice Lynch's brothers, Dermot and Gearoid.

Mr Justice Lynch passed away at the age of 85 on Halloween – the eve of All Saints' Day – after one final look exchanged with his wife and family, mourners heard.

In a moving though humorous eulogy at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook, son Kevin recalled how his father had been described by a friend as a "lovely, caring lawyer who always got to the truth of the matter".

A good attribute for a lawyer, "though not so good for an errant son", he quipped, though he added that his father had always given his children as much freedom as they pleased, trusting their judgment.

His life had become difficult in the last few years but he had borne his disability "with bravery and acceptance" and spent the final months of his life in a nursing home near Croom, Co Limerick, close to the home of his daughter, Margaret.

Supreme Court judges Adrian Hardiman, Nial Fennelly and Frank Clarke were also present, together with newly appointed Supreme Court Judge Elizabeth Dunne.

Chief Justice Susan Denham, retired Chief Justice Ronan Keane, retired Chief Justice Tom Finlay and retired president of the High Court Fred Morris attended.


Retired Supreme Court judges Hugh Geoghegan and Donal Barrington were in attendance, alongside retired High Court judges Philip O'Sullivan, Declan Budd and Roderick Murphy, as well as Circuit Court Judge Petria McDonnell and retired judges John O'Donnell and Anthony Kennedy.

President Michael D Higgins was represented at the funeral of the former judge by his Aide-de-Camp, Comt James Galvin.

Chief celebrant Fr Richard Sheehy, Mr Lynch's godson, told how Mr Lynch liked nothing more than to sit at the top of the table surrounded by his family.

Fr Sheehy told how Mr Lynch "loved the law and the heart of his approach was his dedication to the search for truth and justice".

He had open heart surgery at the age of 60, 25 years ago. This had given him an enhanced appreciation for the gift of life and health, said Fr Sheehy.

Mr Justice Lynch is best remembered for his chairing of the Kerry Babies Tribunal set up to probe allegations of garda misconduct following the discovery of a dead baby on a beach in Caherciveen in 1984.

Irish Independent

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