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'Jolly and gregarious judge' remembered with both tears and laughter at funeral

Mr Justice Kevin Haugh was a remarkable man whose decency earned the respect of those he worked with and who appeared before him, his requiem mass heard yesterday.

He might have passed away at the age of 64, but the judge lived life to the full, mourners at Sacred Heart Church in Donnybrook, Dublin, were told.

He had been a barrister, a circuit court judge, a member of the administrative tribunal of the United Nations, a high court judge and, for two years, was chairman of the Garda Ombudsman Commission.

But he was also a gregarious, jolly man who had a deep love for his family and adventure.

His larger-than-life personality had been the source of much humour and yesterday his son Bob recalled how Judge Haugh had once been rushed to hospital with chest pains. While en route, he demanded to stop in the village of Avoca for lunch.

"Even at death's door, he couldn't resist the opportunity of a shepherd's pie or a lasagne," he said.

There was more laughter as he recalled how a mistakenly packed pellet gun resulted in his father's brief arrest at Dublin Airport as he tried to board a flight to Italy.


Mourners were led by the late judge's wife, Annette, his daughters Sarah and Geraldine, son Bob, grandchildren Lilly, Lucy and Matthew, sisters Evelyn, Clodagh and Brenda and brother Maurice.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen was represented by his aide-de-camp, while the judiciary was led by the Chief Justice Mr Justice John L Murray and High Court president Mr Justice Richard Johnson.

The funeral was also attended by Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and former commissioner Noel Conroy. Garda Ombudsman Commissioners Carmel Foley and Conor Brady attended, along with Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson.

Ciaran Foley paid tribute to his friend of 40 years: "Kevin Haugh was a remarkable man who lived a remarkable life".

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Judge Haugh cared about social justice and the less well-off and treated everyone with proper dignity. "Kevin was a man who always, always, did the right thing," said Mr Foley.

Mr Foley ended by saying: "If I am asked by a passer-by 'who was this man Haugh?' I think it would be incumbent on me to reply: 'He was ... a distinguished lawyer, a highly respected judge, deeply devoted family man, a man of dignity, a humanitarian and last, but not least, quintessentially a proper gentlemen."

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