WARM tributes were paid to retiring County Limerick judge Mary O’Halloran in court in Newcastle West last Friday.
Gardai, solicitors and court officers offered good wishes to the Tralee native, who has formally retired after more than 20 years of service in the District court.
Supt Dan Flavin, head of the Newcastle West garda district, said that Judge O’Halloran was a woman “at the top of her game”.
“She had a phenomenal knowledge of criminal, family and civil law, as well as road traffic legislation. She treated us all equally, and very fairly. She listened to any arguments that were put in front of her, and gave a considered and balanced judgement”.
Supt Flavin said that in the two-and-a-half years that he has been in Newcastle West, it has been “an absolute honour” and a “pleasure” to work with Judge O’Halloran.
Supt Flavin singled out her firm stance on drunk drivers and the reduced number of local road deaths as key parts of her legacy, stating that “there are many families together today because of her”.
Supt Flavin also noted the co-operation she gave to gardai following a number of road deaths in 2010, when she altered court sittings to allow Traffic Corps gardai to have their cases heard promptly, and get back out on duty.
State solicitor Aidan Judge, paying tribute on behalf of solicitors in Newcastle West, said that he had worked with Judge O’Halloran throughout her entire tenure on the bench, and described her as a person “who demanded very high standards, and employed high standards herself. In that regard, she led from the front”.
He cited her role in driving the past redevelopment of Newcastle West court house, and the recent redevelopment of the court building in Kilmallock, which he described as “one of the best in the entire country”. “On behalf of the solicitors in Newcastle West, I wish her a long and fulfilling retirement”.
Judge Mary Larkin echoed the tributes to her retired colleague on behalf of the judiciary, while court clerk Elaine Jones did likewise on behalf of officials from the Courts Service.