Liam Hamilton


Liam Hamilton (8 September 1928 – 29 November 2000) was an Irish judge and barrister who served as Chief Justice of Ireland and a Judge of the Supreme Court from 1994 to 2000, President of the High Court from 1985 to 1994 and a Judge of the High Court from 1974 to 1994.[1]

Liam Hamilton
8th Chief Justice of Ireland
In office
22 March 1994  1 June 2000
Nominated byGovernment of Ireland
Appointed byMary Robinson
Preceded byThomas Finlay
Succeeded byRonan Keane
Judge of the Supreme Court
In office
1 March 1994  1 June 2000
Nominated byGovernment of Ireland
Appointed byMary Robinson
President of the High Court
In office
22 July 1985  1 March 1994
Nominated byGovernment of Ireland
Appointed byPatrick Hillery
Preceded byThomas Finlay
Succeeded byHarry Whelehan
Judge of the High Court
In office
12 May 1974  1 March 1994
Nominated byGovernment of Ireland
Appointed byPatrick Hillery
Personal details
Born(1928-09-08)8 September 1928
Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland
Died29 November 2000(2000-11-29) (aged 72)
Donnybrook, Dublin, Ireland
Resting placeShanganagh Cemetery,
Shankill, Dublin, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyLabour Party
Spouse(s)Maeve Hamilton
(m. 1948; d. 2000)
Children3
Alma mater

Early life


He was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork to Richard Hamilton and Mary Ellen Hamilton (nee Lyons).[2] He was educated at C.B.S. Mitchelstown, University College Dublin and King's Inns. He initially worked as a civil servant and was called to the Bar in 1956 and to the Inner Bar in 1968.[1][2][3]

Career


He acted for Neil Blaney when Blaney and Charles Haughey were charged with conspiracy to import arms in 1970. He was a member of the Labour Party and acted as its legal advisor. After the Labour Party formed a coalition government with Fine Gael in 1973, he was appointed to the High Court.[2] He was regarded as sociable and visited former legal colleagues after becoming a judge.[2][3][4] In 1985, on the nomination of the Labour Party, he was appointed President of the High Court, where he was successful in reforming procedures and clearing a backlog of cases.

He was the sole member of a tribunal of inquiry established by the government in 1991 to investigate allegations of illegal activity, fraud and malpractice in the beef processing industry, known as the Beef Tribunal, which sat from 1991 to 1994.[1][2][3] Shortly after the report of the tribunal, he was nominated as Chief Justice. In 1999 he was asked by Minister for Justice John O'Donoghue to investigate the Philip Sheedy Affair.[2][3]

On retirement as Chief Justice in 2000, he was appointed to the enquiry into the 1974 Dublin, Monaghan and Dundalk bombings, but stepped down on health grounds. He died on 29 November 2000.[1][5]

See also


References


  1. "Former Chief Justices". Supreme Court of Ireland. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  2. "Chief Justice who presided over beef tribunal and whose inquiry led to the resignation of two judges". The Irish Times. Dublin. 2 December 2000. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  3. "Judge beat odds to gain highest office". The Irish Times. Dublin. 31 January 2000. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  4. Maddock, John (3 December 2000). "Large attendance at funeral Mass of former Chief Justice Hamilton". Irish Independent. Dublin. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  5. "Former Chief Justice, Mr Justice Liam Hamilton, dies". RTE. Dublin. 30 November 2000. Retrieved 6 February 2021.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas Finlay
Chief Justice of Ireland
1994–2000
Succeeded by
Ronan Keane