Saturday 24 February 2018

Leading figures pay respects as chief justice laid to rest

Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone with retired Supreme
Court judge Catherine McGuinness at the funeral. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone with retired Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness at the funeral. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Leading figures from the worlds of law and politics turned out in force to mark the passing of former chief justice Thomas Finlay, who died on Sunday aged 95.

President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar joined hundreds of mourners at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook, Dublin. Mr Justice Finlay (inset) was laid to rest in Shanganagh Cemetery.

Mr Justice Finlay served as chief justice from 1985 until 1994. He was also a Fine Gael TD for Dublin South-Central in the 1950s.

The chief mourners were his five children, Tom, John, Joan, Ruth and Mary, who recently followed in his footsteps by being appointed a judge of the Supreme Court, as well as 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Mr Justice Finlay was laid to rest in Shanganagh Cemetery
Mr Justice Finlay was laid to rest in Shanganagh Cemetery

Tom told the congregation his father's life had been "long and fruitful". He said the family were grateful for "the wonderful public tributes" that had been paid by many figures, including President Higgins.

Chief celebrant Fr Conor Harper said Mr Justice Finlay was a daily Mass-goer and a deeply spiritual man.

"He was one of these people who was authentic.

"He was a very good and faithful Christian in the strongest and best possible sense," he said.

"Tom lived his life to the full. He had so many facets. He was a man for all seasons."

Also among the congregation were: Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan; Children Minister Katherine Zappone; Attorney General Séamus Woulfe; Chief Justice Frank Clarke; DPP Claire Loftus; High Court President Peter Kelly and former justice ministers Des O'Malley and Michael McDowell.

Irish Independent

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