Belfast Telegraph

Former chief justice Thomas Finlay dies aged 95

Tributes have been paid to former chief justice Thomas Finlay, one of Ireland's best known legal figures, who has died at the age of 95.

Mr Finlay was called to the bar in 1944 and also served as a Fine Gael TD in the 1950s.

He was appointed a High Court judge in 1974 and promoted to Chief Justice in 1985.

After his retirement in 1994, he led a number of high profile public inquiries including the Hepatitis C Tribunal.

In a statement, President Michael D. Higgins said: "It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Tom Finlay, former chief justice, distinguished member of the bar, former TD and member of the Council of State.

"As president of Ireland, may I convey my condolences to his family and friends, as well as express our nation's thanks for his contribution to public life in so many fields.

"As a member of the Supreme Court and indeed as a member of Dail Eireann, Tom Finlay left a legacy of public service, including a robust defence of the constitution and its provisions on parliamentary privilege and citizens' rights."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also expressed his condolences: "Mr Justice Finlay served with great distinction at many levels of the legal system in Ireland; as a barrister, senior counsel, president of the High Court, Supreme Court justice, as Chief Justice of Ireland from 1985-1994, and over 40 years service as a member of the Council of State.

"He leaves an extraordinary legacy of public service in the law, to which he added a period of time in Dail Eireann during the 1950s.

"My sympathies go to his family, especially his children, who include Supreme Court Judge Mary Finlay Geoghegan. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam."

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