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Henry Barron
Born 25 May 1928(1928-05-25)
Died 25 February 2010 (aged 81)
Cause of death Short illness
Resting place Jewish cemetery, Dolphin's Barn
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
Notable works Commission of Investigation: Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 1974
Known for Granting Ireland's first divorce (1997)
Religion Judaism
Spouse(s) Rosalind
Children 2 sons, 2 daughters

Justice 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 2003. 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, in Rathfarnham.[4] He studied at third-level in Trinity College, Dublin.[4] 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 a total of fifteen years,[5] beginning this job in 1982.[4] 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 Jew ever to be appointed to the Supreme Court.[4]

Retirement (Barron Report)

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 at in Buskhill and the murders of 18 other loyalists south of the border as well.[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 find any definite reason to blame Britain.[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 died 13 years before him.[4] 2 sons, 2 daughters 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 given by politicians and campaigners for justice.

As the sole member of the Commission of Inquiry into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974 and into a number of other bombings and atrocities which occurred in this State during the 1970s, he undertook his task with great sensitivity and thoroughness. Tribute from Taoiseach Brian Cowen[9]
As a member of the Oireachtas Committee which subsequently held hearings based on the investigation carried out by Mr Justice Barron, I came to fully appreciate extent the scope of the work he had undertaken and the demands placed on his. He showed great commitment in the search for the truth about these events and in his dealing with the families he displayed exceptional understanding and sensitivity. It was as a result of the refusal of the British authorities to cooperate in full with the investigation, rather than any failings on the part of Henry Barron, that those responsible have still not been brought to justice. Tribute from Joe Costello (Labour)[4]
He wasn't afraid to name names, he wasn't afraid to criticise the Irish and British Governments, and he wasn't afraid of the security forces north or south of the border. The British security forces, the state and the Cosgrave coalition all came for heavy criticisms from Judge Barron. It gave families some sort of closure. Tribute from Margaret Urwin (Justice for the Forgotten)[10]


  1. ^ "Respected judge who led bomb inquiries". The Irish Times (The Irish Times Trust). Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Jewish life in Dublin
  3. ^ Irish Jewish museum
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "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 Tiernan – The Village, Wednesday, 02 May 2007
  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. 


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