Paul Carney, born in 1943 and died September 24, 2015, he was a judge of the Irish High Court and the presiding judge of its criminal division, the Central Criminal Court.
Paul was born in Dublin. He was regarded as a leading expert on Irish criminal law and presided over murder and rape trials since his appointment to the High Court in 1991.
Paul was a former student of Gonzaga College, and a graduate of University College Dublin and King’s Inns.
He was called to the Bar in 1966 and was appointed a judge of the High Court in 1991.
Both his parents were academics and founded a Department of Celtic Studies at the University of Uppsala, Sweden.
In May, 2006 he was appointed an Adjunct Professor of the Faculty of Law in University College, Cork.
In September, 2008 he was appointed an Adjunct Professor of the Department of Law & Business at NUI Maynooth, Kildare.
Prior to being appointed a judge, Paul Carney was a member of the Progressive Democrats.
Paul retired on 24 April 2015 and died on 24 September 2015 at the age of 72.
Paul , as the “listing judge” of the criminal division of the High Court and the only judge permanently assigned to the Central Criminal Court, heard seven out of every 10 rape cases and over half of all murder trials in the State.
His views on many issues were controversial, and his insistence upon wigs being worn and titles used in public courtrooms that he was serving in resulted in his being rebuked by his superiors.
On 21 January 2013, Paul sentenced 72-year-old sex offender Patrick O’Brien to 12 years in jail with nine years suspended for raping and sexually assaulting his daughter.
Paul then granted the convicted man bail pending an appeal, which was considered by legal commentators to be “very unusual” since bail is usually only granted before someone is sentenced.
Three days later Paul revoked the bail, and apologised and admitted he was wrong and insensitive to the victim.
Paul died at age 72 on September 24, 2015.