Tributes paid to Justice Brian McGovern on his final day on the bench

The President of the Court of Appeal, the Attorney General and leading members of the legal profession have paid tribute to Mr Justice Brian McGovern on his retirement from the bench.

Tributes paid to Justice Brian McGovern on his final day on the bench

The President of the Court of Appeal, the Attorney General and leading members of the legal profession have paid tribute to Mr Justice Brian McGovern on his retirement from the bench.

The judge steps down having served as a Judge of the Court of Appeal and High Court for over 14 years, including a lengthy spell as the judge in charge of the busy Commercial Court division of the High Court where he dealt with many high-profile cases.

Since 2018 he has served as a member of the Court of Appeal.

During his career as both a barrister, which commenced in 1972, and a judge of the superior courts he acted in a number of tribunals, including the Whiddy Island Tribunal, the Ryan Commission and the Lindsay Tribunal.

Not long after he was appointed to the High Court in 2006 he presided over the action known as the embryo case where Mary Roche, against the wishes of her estranged husband Thomas Roche sought to have three frozen embryos released to her for implantation.

Leading the tributes the President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham

said Mr Justice McGovern had a distinguished career as a barrister in civil and criminal law had made a significant contributions in areas particularly Maritime Law, arbitration and medical negligence law.

Mr Justice Birmingham added his colleague had been "a stalwart" in the commercial court.

Mr Justice McGovern's experience and acumen, he added, will be of huge benefit when he takes up his new role along side Ms Justice Mary Irvine and former Judge Micheal Peart on the CervicalCheck Tribunal.

On behalf of the people of Ireland and the Government the Attorney General Mt Seamus Woulfe SC thanked Mr Justice McGovern for his many years of service on the bench.

The Judge he said had acted in and presided over many important and high profile cases include ones featuring golfer Rory McIlroy, politician Mick Wallace and the late broadcaster Gay Byrne.

Tributes were also paid by the President of the Law Society of Ireland Michele O'Boyle, the Chairman of the Bar Council Micheal P O'Higgins, the CEO of the Court Services Ms Angela Denning, Ms Noreen Landers from the Office of the DPP, and Geraldine Manners the Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal.

Mr Justice McGovern, thanking all those in attendance said he wanted to follow the example of Homer Simpson on the occasion when the cartoon character found himself in a posh restaurant and "leave without making a fuss."

He paid tribute to his family, colleagues on the bench and his many friends in the legal profession.

He also thanked his usher John Martin, and the registrar in charge of the Commercial Court Ms Niamh Dermody for their assistance and support during his tenure on the bench.

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