Barra McGrory

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Barra McGrory

Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland
In office
November 2011 – December 2017
Preceded bySir Alasdair Fraser
Succeeded byStephen Herron
Personal details
Born1959 (age 59–60)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Alma materQueen's University Belfast
ProfessionSolicitor and barrister

Barra McGrory, QC (born 1959) is a Northern Ireland solicitor and barrister. From 2011 to 2017, he served as the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland.

Early life and education[edit]

McGrory was born in 1959 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.[1][2] He was one of four children and the only son of P.J. and Phyllis McGrory. His father was "one of Northern Ireland's best known criminal lawyers".[3] He studied ancient history and Celtic studies at Queen's University Belfast, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1983.[4]

Legal career[edit]

McGrory's legal career has been spent in criminal law. In 1987, he qualified as a solicitor.[5] He served as Chairman of the Solicitor's Criminal Bar Association for 1990.[5] In 2007, he was made a Queen's Counsel (QC); he was the first Northern Irish solicitor to be made a QC.[6] In 2009, he was called to the bar, thereby becoming a barrister.[3] During his private practice, he represented a wide range of clients, including Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams, loyalist paramilitaries, Unionist politicians and former police officers.[7][8]

In November 2011, McGrory was appointed the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland (DPP).[9] He is the first Roman Catholic to hold the post.[7] On 17 May 2017, he announced that he would be stepping down as DPP when his term in office ends in September 2017.[10]

McGrory has denied that his resignation is related to escalating allegations of bias by senior UK politicians and others, who have accused his office of prioritising prosecutions of former British soldiers for their actions during the Troubles. He was quoted as saying he regretted the legacy issue had become part of the story of his tenure and wished the mechanisms were in place to deal with the past and investigations into Troubles cases.[1]

Personal life[edit]

McGrory is a Roman Catholic.[9] He is married to Brigid O'Neill, an ecologist and musician.[11] They have two children.[3][11]


  1. ^ a b "Barra McGrory QC to step down as Director of Public Prosecutions". Irish Legal News. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  2. ^ Reyes, Eduardo (22 January 2018). "Troubled waters - interview with Barra McGrory QC". Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Barra McGrory QC becomes new director of PPS". BBC News. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Public Service & Religion". Development & Alumni Relations Office. Queen's University Belfast. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b "New Director of Public Prosecutions For Northern Ireland Appointed" (pdf). Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  6. ^ "President's Message" (PDF). The Writ. The Law Society of Northern Ireland (184): 1–4. June 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b Kearney, Vincent (17 May 2017). "Top NI prosecutor Barra McGrory confirms resignation". BBC News. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Stakeknife: Spy linked to 18 murders, BBC Panorama finds". Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Barra McGrory: Northern Ireland's Director of Public Prosecutions 'to step down later this year'". Belfast Tlegraph. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  10. ^ Bell, Jonny (17 May 2017). "Criticism nothing to do with decision to quit, says PPS chief Barra McGrory". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  11. ^ a b Moriarty, Gerry (3 December 2011). "Revolutionary appointment reflects 'transformation' in Northern society". The Irish Time. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Alasdair Fraser
Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland
2011 to 2017
Succeeded by
Stephen Herron