Henry Barron (judge)

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Henry Barron
Born (1928-05-25)25 May 1928
Died 25 February 2010(2010-02-25) (aged 81)
Cause of death Short illness
Resting place Jewish cemetery, Dolphin's Barn, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Nationality Irish
Alma mater Castle Park School, Dalkey, County Dublin,
Saint Columba's College, Rathfarnham, County Dublin,
Trinity College, Dublin
Occupation Judge
Years active 1951–2000
Known for Granting Ireland's first divorce (1997); investigation into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings
Notable work 2003 Barron Report, contribution towards 2005 Commission of Investigation: Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 1974
Religion Judaism
Spouse(s) Rosalind
Children 2 sons, 2 daughters

Henry Barron (25 May 1928 – 25 February 2010)[1] was an Irish judge. He sat on the Irish Supreme Court from 1997 until his retirement in 2000. He was the first Jew to hold this position.

Prior to this he spent 15 years as a judge of the High Court.[2] Justice Barron was also noted for granting the Republic's first divorce in 1997. He was President of the Irish Jewish Museum.[3]


Barron attended Castle Park School in Dalkey, County Dublin before progressing to Saint Columba's College, Rathfarnham.[4] He studied at third-level in Trinity College, Dublin. Upon his departure in 1950 Barron scored first class honours and was awarded a moderatorship in legal science.[4] In 1951 he began the Bar and silk followed nineteen years later.[4]

Barron was a High Court judge for fifteen years,[5] beginning this job in 1982. In 1997 he granted the state's first divorce prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court in the same year.[5][6] He was the first Jewish person ever appointed to the Irish Supreme Court.[4]

Retirement (Barron Report)[edit]

Justice Barron retired in 2000.[5] He was commissioned to investigate the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings. He took over from Justice Liam Hamilton who departed due to ill health.[4] He investigated bombing incidents in Castleblayney, Dundalk, Dublin Airport, the Miami Showband murders and the deaths of eighteen other individuals.[6] His report, termed The Barron Report and demonstrated before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice in December 2003, was damning as per the investigation into the bombings by both the Fine Gael/Labour government and the Gardaí.[5][7] He thought they might have made a better attempt to stop it from happening.[6] He did not lay any definitive blame with the British government.[5]


Barron died at the age of 81 in St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin on 25 February 2010,[5] having been unwell for a short time.[5] His wife Rosalind had predeceased him by 13 years.[4] 2 sons (Harrie & Robert), 2 daughters (Jane & Anne) and 10 grandchildren outlived him.[5][6] Barron's funeral took place at Dolphin's Barn's Jewish cemetery at 12:15 on 26 February 2010.[4][8]

After his death tributes were made by politicians and campaigners for justice:


  1. ^ "Respected judge who led bomb inquiries". The Irish Times (The Irish Times Trust). 3 March 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Jewish life in Dublin
  3. ^ Irish Jewish museum
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Former Supreme Court judge dies". The Irish Times (The Irish Times Trust). 26 February 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Former Supreme Court judge Henry Barron dies". RTÉ News and Current Affairs (RTÉ). 26 February 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Dublin-Monaghan bombs investigator Judge Barron dies". BBC News (BBC). 26 February 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  7. ^ Dublin and Monaghan bombings: Cover-up and incompetence, by Joe TiernanThe Village, Wednesday, 2 May 2007[dead link]
  8. ^ "In Short: Former judge of Supreme Court Henry Barron dies". The Irish Times (The Irish Times Trust). 26 February 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Taoiseach leads tributes after judge Barron dies". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). 26 February 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "Tributes to 'truth-seeking' judge". Irish Independent (Independent News & Media). 26 February 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 

External links[edit]