Veteran judge feted with song and dance in court
The only feature of support missing in Court 28 of the Circuit Civil Court when Mr Justice Ray Groarke handed over the presidency of the court to Ms Justice Patricia Ryan was a Mexican wave.
Barrister Paul O'Neill completed his tributes to Mr Groarke on behalf of the Bar Council by saying it was traditional to end with a prayer and a hymn.
"I intend ending these tributes by singing a hymn," Mr O'Neill said, whereupon he began punching the air and singing "Oh Ray, Oh Ray, Oohh Ray, Oohh Ray," joined by judges, senior counsel, barristers, court staff and friends, singing, punching the air, stamping their feet and thumping tables.
It was the first time in decades veteran court reporters had witnessed so many members of the legal profession in their black gowns and sombre dress lose control of themselves.
Earlier, the new president of the Circuit Court, Ms Justice Ryan, said Judge Groarke had brought to the position of president a wealth of experience and a wide knowledge of the law.
Mr Micheál O'Higgins SC, chairman of the Bar Council, said Judge Groarke had entered the Law Library in 1973, became a judge in 1996 and was appointed president of the Circuit Court in 2012.
Judge Groarke thanked Tony Burke, his tipstaff of almost quarter of a century, and, referring to the support of his family, said his wife, Joan, was known at home as the 'Court of Appeal' who, on numerous occasions, had overturned his judgments on domestic decisions.