Judge John Neilan has paid tribute to retiring District Court Clerk, Pat Kelly, saying he will be sadly missed.
Mr Kelly officially retired at the end of September following 23 years with the Courts Service in Mullingar.
The judge described him as an “extremely modest man, extraordinarily committed to his office”. He said Mr Kelly took great pride in discharging that commitment by way of service to the community, particularly in the way he dealt with members of the public.
“I am sorry to see him go,” he said, commenting on the loss of 40 years experience and adding that he will personally miss him as court clerk. The judge said he wished to express his appreciation and thanks for Mr Kelly’s “kindness, courtesy and help”.
He complimented the way Mr Kelly was willing to work extremely late hours and how even if a scheduled court sitting finished at 6.30pm and a special sitting was called later in the evening to facilitate gardaí or members of the public, “he would re-open the gates, return to court, the business would be done and he’d head off into the night”.
He also paid tribute to his “extraordinary capacity to motivate his staff”, saying the Mullingar office was “very happy” and that he himself “never had a cross word with Mr Kelly or vice versa”.
Mr Kelly was committed to serving the public as a public servant, he said, “to the letter of the law and with the utmost dignity and respect”.
He wished Mr Kelly good luck in his retirement and a long, healthy, and prosperous life with his wife Angela.
State Solicitor Mr Peter Jones echoed the judge’s comments, saying Mr Kelly had been a friend to all and had upheld a very high standard. He described him as a “very true professional”.
Superintendent John Gantly said he and his colleagues had “the height of admiration for Mr Kelly” who had “never been found wanting”.
Solicitors John Quinn and Robert Marren thanked him for his assistance to legal practitioners and mentioned his sensitive dealings with family law.
Mr Marren said his decency was “a mark of the man”, particularly when dealing with the general public . His good wishes for Mr Kelly’s retirement were echoed by Rory Hannify on behalf of the bar and by the probation services.
Mrs Rita Monaghan said Mr Kelly’s retirement was a huge loss to the court staff. He had always been very accommodating and understanding, she said.