Obituary: Judge Niall McCarthy

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The Independent Online
THE DEATH of Niall McCarthy is a great loss to the Supreme Court of Ireland, as Alan Murdoch has written (obituary, 5 October), writes Sir Anthony Campbell. This sense of loss is shared by many friends in Northern Ireland, where he was a frequent and welcome visitor, and further afield too by judges and lawyers in Australia, the US and in many other countries.

When he and Barbara died so tragically in Spain they were setting out on the journey home from a meeting of the International Association of Judges. The week before he was at an important judicial colloquium convened by the Lord Chancellor in Oxford where he made a moving and memorable contribution to the proceedings. It is reflected in the closing statement where the conference expressed the hope '. . . that the commitments to human rights in the domestic laws and international instruments binding upon the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, which rights are protected by the courts of both countries, may contribute to promoting a swift and enduring resolution of current problems.'

Niall, who was gifted in so many ways, was always entertaining company and he was a keen sportsman. When he holed his tee shot playing at Portmarnock not long ago he said that he was pleased that it was on such a famous course and that members of the Bar were there to witness the event but most of all that Barbara had seen it happen.

Barbara was delightful and she gave Niall her constant and devoted support. Those of us who enjoyed their generous friendship always thought of them together and, poignantly, so they died. Their children and grandchildren whom they adored have suffered a grievous loss and to them we offer our deepest sympathy.