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Court tributes to the late Judge McGuinness


The late Judge Oliver McGuinness.

The late Judge Oliver McGuinness.

The late Judge Oliver McGuinness.


Warm and heartfelt tributes were paid to retired District Court Judge Oliver McGuinness who passed away on May 27.

Leading the tributes at Sligo District Court on Thursday, Judge Deirdre Gearty said she wanted to extend her deepest sympathy to Judge McGuinness’s family on his passing.

Judge McGuinness had served as a judge for a total of 25 years, 14 of them in District No 2 which included Sligo District Court.

He had been in this district for over 14 years and had previously served as movable Judge for 11 years.

And he was one of five judges to be appointed from the firm of Cathal L Flynn, Solicitors, Carrick-On-Shannon.

Judge Gearty said she knew Oliver personally and was “a most courteous and able man with a marvellous presence, was very firm but very fair.

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Judge McGuinness had a wonderful command of his brief and anyone making a case before him who had a stupid argument would very quickly be let known about it. But the late judge was a very compassionate man with a genuine human touch.

And he showed great kindness to those who were unwell or in pain and when he retired, it was evident that he was held in the highest esteem.

But he also had a very full life outside the court, and he was a talented singer late at night.

He also played golf and was a sports enthusiast and was a real all-rounder. Judge Gearty added that Judge McGuinness was a Gaeilgeoir and a gentleman. On behalf of the State, Sligo State Solicitor Elisa McHugh said she did not have the pleasure of appearing before him, but from what she had heard, she felt that she knew him.

Judge McGuinness administered justice in a compassionate, speedy and efficient way.

On behalf of the Sligo Solicitors’ Association, Mr Noel Kelly, solicitor said he was above all a gentleman who was decent and kind.

Loretta Kearins, on behalf of the Courts Service said the late judge was a very compassionate man and had a great working relationship with the court staff and there was great harmony.

Sergeant Derek Butler, on behalf of An Garda Síochana said he had appeared before the late Judge on many occasions, and he was he was held in the highest regard in An Garda Síochana.