Aindrias Ó Caoimh (attorney general)

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Aindrias Ó Caoimh (4 October 1912 – 30 December 1994), also known as Andreas O'Keeffe and Ayindries Ó Cuiv,[1] was Attorney General of Ireland from January 1954 to June 1954, and again from March 1957 to March 1965. For the time between his terms, the position was held by Patrick McGilligan. He was President of the High Court from 1966 to 1974, and a member of the European Court of Justice from 1975 to 1985.[2]


He was a brother of Brian Ó Cuív and uncle of Éamon Ó Cuív. He and his wife Sheila had seven children,[3] one of whom, also Aindrias Ó Caoimh, was, like his father, appointed a member of the European Court of Justice, in 2004. Ó Caoimh died at his home in Ranelagh and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.[3]

Lawless v. Ireland[edit]

During his second term as Attorney General he represented the Irish Government in Lawless v. Ireland (1957–1961), the first case before the European Court of Human Rights, taken by Gerald Lawless[4] who was represented by Seán MacBride, the human rights lawyer.[5] The case concerned the detention without trial of a suspected member of the IRA who claimed that Ireland had breached Articles 5, 6 and 7 of the European Convention of Human Rights that provide rights to liberty and security, fair trial and the principle of ‘no punishment without law’.[6] The court found in favour of the Irish Government that no violation of the European Convention on Human Rights had taken place.[7]

Arms Trial[edit]

In September 1970 Ó Caoimh withdrew from the Arms Trial, with the result that the case had to be re-heard after six days of evidence had already been given.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kenneth Ferguson, ed. (2005). King's Inns Barristers 1868–2004. Dublin: The Honorable Society of King's Inns in association with The Irish Legal History Society. p. 271. ISBN 0-9512443-2-9. 
  2. ^ The Irish Times, 30 December 1994, p. 23.
  3. ^ a b c Former High Court president dies, The Irish Times, 30 December 1994, p.5.
  4. ^ "Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Lawless Case Appearances". Dáil Éireann Parliamentary Debates - Volume 185. Oireachtas. 1960-12-07. Retrieved 2017-06-27. 
  5. ^ "Sean MacBride (1904-1988)". Searc's Web Guide to 20th Century Ireland. 2008. Archived from the original on 2013-01-13. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  6. ^ "The Lawless Papers". NUI Galway:. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  7. ^ "Judgment of the Court of Human Rights in the Lawless v Ireland(1 July 1961)". European Court of Human Rights. 1961-07-01. Retrieved 2009-03-23. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Thomas Teevan
Attorney General of Ireland
Succeeded by
Patrick McGilligan
Preceded by
Patrick McGilligan
Attorney General of Ireland
Succeeded by
Colm Condon