Court officers bade a fond farewell to Judge Patrick McMahon when he sat for the last time at Ardee District Court at the April sitting on Monday. Judge McMahon who has presided over the court for the last two years retires from the bench in a month, and in expressing his thanks, spoke sadly of the murder of Detective Adrian Donohue and his great distress over those who because of the downturn in the economy were now appearing in court.
Fergus Mullen State Solicitor for Louth led the tributes paid to him, praising among other qualities his “ courtesy, common sense and not inconsiderable knowledge of the law. “
Mr Mullen remarked “it seems only yesterday I stood here and welcomed you to the court. You couldn’t be accused of outstaying your welcome, “ he quipped.
News of his retirement came as a considerable surprise and was a compliment to the Judge. “ I would like on behalf of everybody to register best wishes to you and to thank you for your courtesy, common sense and not inconsiderable knowledge of the law,” said Mr Mullen.
He was joined by Inspector Paul Kiernan on behalf of the Gardai, Noeleen Halpin of the Courts Service, Monica Faulkner of the Probation Service, Irene Sands on behalf of the Bar Association and Frank McDonnell on behalf of the solicitors in Louth and Meath who have practised before the Judge, offering further tributes and wishing him well for the future.
Garda Inspector Kiernan thanked the Judge for his assistance, stating he always arrived and left the court in good humour. He now was moving onto a different chapter in his life in which he wished him well, and thanked him for his kindness and patience.
Mr McDonnell said it was a pleasure to appear in front of him, and his two years sitting in the court had gone in the “blink of an eye.”
Noeleen Halpin Chief Court Clerk thanked the Judge for his kindness, courtesy and good relationship with staff.
Judge McMahon thanked all the different branches of the court, staff, Gardai, prison and probation service.”We are all branches of the same system working on behalf of the people, “ he reflected.
He commended all on their professionalism, and summed up his term “ by and large we got on reasonably well together. It was my pleasure to be a District Justice here for the last two years and by goodness the time has flown.”