Sadness at sudden death of Clonmel judge Michael Reilly

Sadness at sudden death of Clonmel judge Michael Reilly


 Tributes have been paid to Clonmel-born Judge Michael Reilly who died suddenly on Saturday.

He was Inspector of Prisons at the time of his death.

Judge Reilly was a member of the family law firm James Reilly and Sons until his appointment as a judge in 1982. He served in the Limerick area.

His brother Peter is senior partner in the firm which was set up by their grandfather in the 1920s.

Judge Reilly, who was 71, was educated at Rathkeevan National School, Clonmel and St Joseph's College, Cahir, and studied law in Trinity College.

He was a former captain of Clonmel Rugby Club.

Judge Reilly is survived by his wife Eleanor, daughters Jilly (Foley) and Evie (Mulry), sons Tom and Peter, brothers Peter and Rory, sisters Eve and Sally, sons in law, daughters in law, grandchildren, brothers in law, sisters in law, nephews, nieces, relatives and many friends.

His remains are reposing at Keller's Funeral Home, Nenagh this Monday evening from 5pm to 7pm. Funeral arriving to Portroe Church on Tuesday morning at 11.45am for funeral mass at 12 noon followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. 

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald expressed her sympathies to Judge Reilly's  family, saying: “Michael Reilly served the State with great commitment as Inspector of Prisons, a role he agreed to take on after a distinguished career on the bench as a judge in both the District and Special Criminal Court.

“He was robust and fair-minded in the way he carried out his work as Inspector of Prisons; he was not afraid to criticise where this was merited, but he retained the respect of everyone involved in penal policy throughout his tenure as Inspector,” the Minister said.

“Judge Reilly was determined that his work would make a difference, and it did. I worked very closely with Judge Reilly and I found him to be a very warm genuine, caring person with a deep interest and commitment to the work he was carrying out so diligently and so carefully.”

He was serving as the Inspector of Prisons when he died, a position he had held since January 2008.

The director general of the Irish Prison Service Michael Donnellan paid tribute to Mr Justice Reilly’s “passion and dedication” as inspector.

“ Judge Reilly’s reports and recommendations have been the catalyst for many changes in the Irish Prison Service and his contribution to prison reform has been hugely significant.

“On my own behalf and on behalf of the Irish Prison Service I would like to extend deepest sympathies to his family for their loss”, he said.