Tributes paid to High Court Judge Justice Paul Carney

Mr Justice Paul Carney, who died today
Mr Justice Paul Carney, who died today

The man who presided over many of the country's most high profile, and gruesome cases, passed away today

The 72-year-old only retired from the bench in April of this year after almost 24 years passing sentence on some of the most notorious cases to ever be heard in court in Ireland.

At the time of his retirement it was estimated that he had sat in judgement on over 150 rape and murder cases.

The cases involving Patrick Nally, the 'Scissor Sisters' Charlotte and Linda Mulhall, the sex killer Michael Bambrick and child killer Wayne O'Donoghue were just some of the trials Justice Carney was in charge of.

Carney was no stranger to controversy during his career.

In the O'Donoghue case in 2006 he criticised the victim impact statement of Majella Holohan, the mother of 11-year-old Robert and his imposition of an effective three-year sentence in 2012 on Patrick O'Brien for the repeated rape of his daughter Fiona Doyle over a nine-year period was also widely criticised.

In that case he apologised for being 'insenstive' by granting bail and the Court of Criminal Appeal found the sentence to be too short and they imposed an extra seven-year sentence on O'Brien.

President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said in a statement today: “He was the pre-eminent criminal law judge in the Central Criminal Court in our time, presiding in a long career over well more than a hundred murder and rape trials.

“He did so with exemplary fairness throughout, a fact acknowledged by not only by practitioners but in many instances also by those standing trial before him.  He will be greatly missed, particularly by his colleagues in the High Court, who held him in such high esteem”.