Maurice Gibson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Rt. Hon. Sir Maurice W. Gibson
Maurice Gibson.jpg
The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Gibson
Judge of the High Court
In office
1968–1975
Lord Justice of Appeal
In office
1975–1987
Personal details
Born (1913-05-01)May 1, 1913
Montpelier House, Belfast
Died April 27, 1987(1987-04-27) (aged 73)
Killeen, County Armagh
Spouse(s) Cecily Winifred Johnson (Lady Gibson)

The Rt Hon. Sir Maurice Gibson, P.C. (1 May 1913 - 27 April 1987), was a Lord Justice of Appeal in Northern Ireland. He was killed, along with his wife Cecily, Lady Gibson by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Sir Maurice was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution (R.B.A.I., or 'Inst') and he graduated with a law degree from The Queen's University of Belfast. He was elected a bencher in 1961 and was described by Lord MacDermott in 1968 as the best lawyer at the Bar. In 1968 he became Chancery Judge and Lord of Appeal in 1977. The couple had two children.[1]

In 1977 he acquitted the soldier who shot Majella O'Hare, a 12 year old girl. The UK government recently apologised for this killing and said the justification he accepted was "unlikely".[2]

He and his wife were killed by a remote-controlled car bomb as they drove over the Irish Border back into Northern Ireland on 27 April 1987 after a holiday in Great Britain.

As the judge's car reached Drumad, the townland on the County Louth side of the border, he stopped to shake hands with the Garda security escort who had completed their part of the assignment. The couple had only a short drive to meet the RUC escort to Belfast. Between the two points lay the bomb, near a petrol station near Killean in County Armagh. The explosion threw the Gibson's vehicle across the road, killing the couple immediately.[1][3]

The explosion also injured Ireland national rugby union team players Nigel Carr, David Irwin and Philip Rainey who were in a car on the same road[4]

The case was investigated by the Cory Collusion Inquiry into cases of collusion between security forces and paramilitaries after persistent questions over whether the Garda had tipped off the IRA of the Gibson's travel arrangements. Cory found insufficient evidence to warrant a public inquiry into the incident. The later Smithwick Tribunal found that Cory had been 'mistaken' in questioning the reliability of intelligence that a member of the Garda had helped the IRA in the Gibsons' murders, and in May 2014 former Northern Ireland First Minister Lord Trimble called for an inquiry into whether there was collusion.[5]

References[edit]