Thursday 23 November 2017

Editorial: Death of former judge Paul Carney

Paul Carney presided over many high profile trials
Paul Carney presided over many high profile trials

Few judges have done the State as much service as Paul Carney, who passed away yesterday.

The 71-year-old presided over 100 murder and rape trials during his lifetime, dealing with some of the most violent individuals and distressing cases to come before the High Court.

That he still retained a desire to serve on the bench, up to the day of his retirement, is a testament to dedication to public service and to the Irish justice system.

The sheer volume of criminal cases heard by Carney is notable, as is the fact that he brought the Central Criminal Court ‘on circuit’ around the country – a progressive move.

Carney will also be remembered for ably presiding over a number of high-profile cases in recent years – among them, the Scissor Sisters, Wayne O’Donoghue and the trials of a number of major gangland figures.

We extend our sympathies to his family and colleagues.

Ronan's use of Nazi line

Developer Johnny Ronan’s use of the phrase ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ in evidence to the Banking Inquiry was insensitive, if not completely ignorant.

It is incomprehensible that an individual could use such a phrase – and even translate it into Irish – as part of a statement to a public body.

Regardless of the intention, Ronan’s use of these words links his experience with NAMA to one of the worst atrocities in modern history, the genocide of millions of innocent people.

Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter has expressed his astonishment at the use of the phrase and has called on Ronan to remove the words from his statement.

This is the least the developer could do.

One would have thought that Ronan’s dealings with NAMA would have given him a dose of humility. This doesn’t appear to be the case.

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