3 December 2017 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr. Charles Flanagan T.D. noted with sadness the passing today of Mr. Thomas Finlay, former Chief Justice. 

“I have learned with great regret today of the death of Thomas Finlay. 

He was an eminent barrister and jurist, respected and popular among his peers and legal colleagues. He was called to the Bar in 1944 and built a successful career as a respected advocate and taking a detour into Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael Deputy serving the people of Dublin South Central in the mid-1950s.  

He was appointed to the High Court in 1974 and then as Chief Justice in 1985 in which office he served until 1994. His 20 years’ service on the bench was characterised by the clear and pragmatic thinking that lay behind his judgments in very many significant cases. Following his retirement he undertook a number of public inquiries, very notably the Hepatitis C Tribunal of Inquiry. Over the course of that long career his fine skills of legal analysis and his humanity were always to the fore and were brought to bear in the many significant legal cases and inquiries of public importance in which he was involved. 

I wish to express my deepest condolences to his family on this sad day, including to his daughter Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan. I express also my appreciation for his great contribution to public life and dedicated service to the State.”