Tributes paid after death of former attorney general

FORMER attorney general Rory Brady who died yesterday was described by ex-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern as his most trusted Cabinet colleague.

The Dubliner held the country’s most senior non-judicial legal post with the Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrat Government that served between 2002 and 2007. He was 52 and had been seriously ill.

Among his most prominent work while the state’s chief law officer was the legal framework for the smoking ban introduced in 2004 and the design of laws that led to the introduction of mandatory breath testing for drink driving. He was the driver of the regulations that ensure key international soccer and rugby fixtures remain free-to-air on television and took the unusual step of representing Ireland personally in international courts, notably in The Hague in a matter concerning the Sellafield nuclear power plant.

Mr Ahern said that his close friend never sought publicity or headlines but had played an extraordinarily significant role in bringing peace to the North.

“No one should doubt how instrumental he was in driving reform and ensuring the implementation of initiatives to improve the lives of ordinary people,” the Dublin Central TD said. “He was my closest and most trusted colleague at the Cabinet table. He was never anything less than brilliant. As well as being an authority on all matters legal, Rory Brady was a supreme political strategist.”

Taoiseach Brian Cowen said Mr Brady’s family was steeped in republican politics and he had been a proud supporter of Fianna Fáil whose wisdom was of immense benefit to previous party leaders Albert Reynolds, Mr Ahern and himself.

“He was a person of many talents and vast intelligence, but he remained always the most modest of gentlemen. Rory had an engaging personality and he was held in great affection and strong esteem by all of his Cabinet colleagues,” Mr Cowen said.

Mr Brady studied law at University College Dublin and King’s Inns, and was called to the bar in 1979. He became a senior counsel in 1996, before succeeding Michael McDowell as Attorney General, a position he stepped down from in 2007 to be replaced by Paul Gallagher.

He is survived by his wife, Siobhan, and two daughters.

Mr Ahern said he had fought a very serious illness bravely and with immense fortitude.

“He was always cheerful and offering encouragement to his friends right up until his passing,” the former Taoiseach said.


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