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'Independent and fearless' retired High Court president an example to judges

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Send off: Mr Justice Peter Kelly at the first sitting of the new Court of Appeal at court 29 in the Four Courts in 2014. Photo: Frank Mcgrath

Send off: Mr Justice Peter Kelly at the first sitting of the new Court of Appeal at court 29 in the Four Courts in 2014. Photo: Frank Mcgrath

Send off: Mr Justice Peter Kelly at the first sitting of the new Court of Appeal at court 29 in the Four Courts in 2014. Photo: Frank Mcgrath

It was a fitting end to a brilliant career. As Mr Justice Peter Kelly walked into the Four Courts he was met by warm applause from a guard of honour comprised of about 40 judges.

In normal times, the retiring president of the High Court could have expected the Attorney General and other leading lights of the legal professions to pile into a courtroom to pay tribute on his final day.

These are not normal times, however, and thronged courtrooms are gone, for the time being at least, due to Covid-19 restrictions.