Belfast Telegraph

Legal world pays tribute to eminent QC after his death aged 83

Co-workers of the distinguished criminal defence barrister Philip Mooney QC have paid tribute to their
Co-workers of the distinguished criminal defence barrister Philip Mooney QC have paid tribute to their "esteemed colleague" following his death. (stock photo)
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

Co-workers of the distinguished criminal defence barrister Philip Mooney QC have paid tribute to their "esteemed colleague" following his death.

Mr Mooney passed away last Friday, aged 83.

He was laid to rest yesterday following Requiem Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in his native Aghadowey.

Those he worked alongside during his career paid their respects to him in a moving tribute.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of our esteemed colleague Philip Mooney QC at the weekend," read a statement from the Bar Library.

"Philip was called to the Bar in 1965 having studied at Trinity, before taking silk in 1983.

"In 1994 he was elected as a bencher and served as treasurer of the Inn of Court in 2002.

"Philip enjoyed a long and eminent career as a criminal defence barrister, and although he retired some years ago, his cases and notable work are still cited within the Bar Library."

Colleagues also offered their sympathy to Mr Mooney's family.

The statement added: "The Bar would like to express deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time."

A newspaper death notice said Mr Mooney would be "greatly missed" by his family.

He is survived by his wife Marie and his sons Philip and James.

One of Mr Mooney's best known cases saw him act as defence QC for Trevor Hamilton, who abducted and murdered retired librarian Attracta Harron (65) when she was returning from Mass in Co Donegal in December 2003.

Four months earlier he had been released from prison after serving a sentence for rape and other offences, including threats to kill.

Ms Harron's body was found in April 2004, hidden in a river bank less than 50 yards from Hamilton's home.

Hamilton was found guilty of her murder in April 2006.

The trial judge recommended that he should never be released from prison.

This was the first time such a recommendation had been made in a court in Northern Ireland.

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