Sunday 18 August 2019

Tributes paid to first Director of Public Prosecutions Eamonn Barnes who has died

Eamonn Barnes
Eamonn Barnes
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

The first Director of Public Prosecutions Eamonn Barnes has died.

The Office of the DPP said it notes his passing on Thursday "with the deepest regret".

Eamonn joined the Attorney General's Office in 1966 following a period in private practice as a barrister.

He was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions in early 1975 the passing of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1974.

Eamonn served as Director until his retirement in September 1999.

"I, along with my colleagues, had the greatest admiration for Eamonn Barnes as a public servant and as Ireland's first Director of Public Prosecutions," Claire Loftus the current DPP said.

"He set up this Office, asserted its statutory independence, and established the highest prosecutorial standards which we still adhere to today.  I join with the staff of this Office in extending our deepest sympathies to Mr. Barnes' children and extended family."

Eamonn Barnes was instrumental in the foundation of the International Association of Prosecutors in 1995 and served as its President from 1996 until his retirement. 

The Association now has organisational members in 171 countries around the world.

Minister Charlie Flanagan TD said he was saddened to hear of the death of Eamonn Barnes.

"He served the State with considerable distinction in that role for 25 years, establishing the unquestioned independence of the position from Government," he said in a statement.

"I extend my sympathies to his family, friends and former colleagues."

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