Former chief justice laid to rest

THE funeral of the former chief justice and government minister Tom O’Higgins took place in Dublin yesterday.

The chief mourners were Mr O’Higgins’ wife Terry, their seven children and their 30 grandchildren.

St Patrick’s Church in Monkstown was packed yesterday morning as family, friends, and former colleagues gathered to pay their respects to the former minister, presidential candidate, chief justice and member of the European Court of Justice.

Both the President and the Taoiseach were represented by their aides-de-camp, while also attending from the political world were the Tánaiste, Mary Harney, the Minister for Transport, Seamus Brennan, and former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes.

Also there was former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald who, apart from enjoying a long working relationship in politics with Tom O’Higgins, was also related to him through the marriage of their children.

Many serving and retired members of the judiciary, led by Chief Justice Ronan Keane, were also in attendance to mark the passing of one of the most distinguished former members of the bench.

The homily was delivered by chief celebrant Fr Bruce Bradley, who paid tribute to the spirit of unstinting public service which marked Tom O’Higgins’ career.

He said that Mr O’Higgins had made a historic contribution through his promotion of a more tolerant, inclusive democracy and a more just society, both here and in the rest of Europe.

Fr Bradley added that in the midst of public office he had remained a truly just man, and had been the same with everyone: completely natural, without pomposity or self regard.

Mr O’Higgins, who was 86, was laid to rest in Shanganagh cemetery.

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