23 October 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

FURTHER poignant tributes were paid to the late Mr. Martin Crilly, the well known Carrickmacross solicitor who died earlier this month, and an expression of sympathy was extended to his family and friends, at the commencement of the Circuit Court in Carrickmacross on Tuesday.

Mr. Crilly’s death took place at the Blackrock Clinic Dublin on Monday 6th October, and his passing came as a great shock to all who knew him.

Martin, who was aged 62, had bravely battled cancer since February of this year and bore his illness with great dignity and fortitude. A native of Dundalk he was son of Hugh and Catherine Crilly and was born and raised at Maryville on Dundalk’s Avenue Road, from where Martin’s father, Hugh, ran a very successful cattle dealing business. He was a nephew of General Sean McKeown who was a former Chief-of-Staff of the Irish Army.

Last week, at a sitting of the District Court, Judge Sean MacBride led earlier court tributes to the deceased lawyer and extended condolences to his bereaved wife, family, and friends.
On Tuesday, the late Mr Crilly’s wife, Anne, his son Shane, and daughters Suzanne and Laura, and members of the extended Crilly family, were present for the opening of the Circuit Court in Carrickmacross, along with Mr Crilly’s legal partner, Mr Tony Donagher, solicitor, and Mr Crilly’s law firm staff.

At the outset, in extending his sympathy, Judge John O’Hagan said that Mr. Crilly had died at the relatively young age of 62, after suffering an illness over a long period. He recognized that the Crilly family had gone through an ‘emotional experience’ as they had watched Martin pass away. The judge said that he had first come across Martin Crilly when the late solicitor was working at Steen & O’Reilly Solicitors in Navan where, in his younger days, Judge O’Hagan also worked at the time. “We got on well there. Martin Crilly always had a smile on his face but he was also always perpetually worried about his clients.’

He said Mr Crilly had eventually established his own very successful legal practice in Carrickmacross in 1979.

The judge pointed out that people come to solicitors with their problems. Clients come in, he said, and the solicitor listens, takes notes, and instructions, and they like to think that they have got their legal problems off their chest”.

“You could do that with Martin—he made memos and took instruction but he took on all the worry. The guy had absorbed all the worries and stress that the client had, and taken them all on board. He worked tirelessly for his clients and his death is a sad loss to all.”
He referred to the Crilly family’s ‘haven away from home’ in Clogherhead, where many happy days and weeks were spent. He also made mention of the late Mr Crilly’s landmark success in the Shirley Estate case, which was a notable highpoint in Mr Crilly’s career.

Judge O’Hagan also acknowledged the efforts of the late Mr Crilly’s legal practice partner solicitor, Mr Tony Donagher , whom he said had done a ‘wonderful job’ and had ‘taken on quite a lot’ over the course of Mr. Crilly’s illness.

Addressing the Crilly family directly, Judge O’Hagan said in conclusion: “We wish you all the best. We are always there to support you if you need us, and I hope you can struggle through this as best you can.”

On behalf of the Bar Council, Mr. Frank Martin BL expressed his sympathy to the Crilly family. “Martin was a great character—a fearful opponent in opposition but when working with you, he left no stone unturned. Martin was at all times a family man but his clients became part of his family. Martin fought his illness valiantly and was too young to be taken from us. He had so much more to offer. He led his life with decency, honestly and sincerity,” said Mr Martin. Barrister Mr John McCoy also extended his sympathy and concurred with the sentiments expressed by previous speakers.

On behalf of the County Monaghan Bar Association, Mr. Enda O’Carroll, Solr., Carrickmacross, extended his sympathy.

“I’ve known Martin for 39 years and never once did a cross word pass between us. We had our occasional differences but they were resolved in a spirit of friendship and camaraderie. Martin was a true colleague and friend – a larger than life character.”

Mr. O’Carroll said that Martin Crilly was basically a shy man who never wanted the limelight. “It was when he was out with his friends that you saw the real Martin Crilly, a witty, outspoken man and a great conversationalist. In short Martin was great craic,” said Mr O’Carroll.

Mr O’Carroll added that Martin Crilly had four great loves in his life, his family, sport, music and reading. Addressing Mr Crilly’s children Shane, Suzanne and Laura he said :”You were very lucky to have such a wonderful dad and I know that you are as proud of him as he was of you.”

The State Solicitor for County Monaghan, Mr Barry Healy, Monaghan, concurred.
“I worked with Martin and he was very easy to work with. I extend my deepest sympathy to his wife Anne and to his family and extended family,” added Mr Healy.

On behalf of the Co. Cavan Bar Association, solicitor Mr. Denis MacDwyer expressed his condolences. “Martin was no stranger to County Cavan—we have many fond memories of him,” he said.

Sergt. Ken Coughlan, Carrickmacross, on behalf of the gardai, expressed his sympathy. “Martin Crilly was a lovely man who was always of great assistance to the gardai,” he said.
On behalf of the County Monaghan Courts’ Service, Ms Bernie Smith, Monaghan, expressed condolences. “The entire Courts Office in Monaghan was very sad to hear of Mr Crilly’s death. He was highly thought of, by staff, past and present,” she said.

A minute’s silence was then observed in the court with all upstanding, as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased lawyer.

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