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Dr Eamonn G Hall, RIP
Director General Ken Murphy with the late Dr Eamonn G Hall, when a Law Society room was named in his honour, on 18 August this year

24 Nov 2020 / law society Print

Legal profession loses one of its leading lights

The Gazette has been informed of the death last Saturday (21 November) of Dr Eamonn G Hall, solicitor (Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales), Notary Public and Commissioner for Oaths, following a brave battle with illness. His funeral Mass was held this morning (24 November) in the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Chapelizod, Dublin.

Educated at St Macartan's College, Monaghan, Dr Hall was a graduate of University College Dublin with a BA degree, H Dip Ed (NUI Maynooth), LL.B (NUI Galway), PhD (Trinity College Dublin) and was admitted to the roll of solicitors in 1974. Subsequently, he was admitted as a solicitor of Northern Ireland, and England and Wales.

Chief solicitor

He was principal of EG Hall & Co Solicitors, Notaries Public and Commissioners for Oaths, and was chief solicitor with Telecom Éireann/Eircom Group from 1984-2007.

Eamonn served as the chief examiner in constitutional law for the Law Society’s Law School from 1981-2006 and, from its inception, was an examiner in constitutional law for the Qualified Lawyers’ Transfer Examination. He was consultant on judicial review to the Law School, and former consultant on Criminal Litigation and Advocacy.

Law reporting

Dr Hall was a former secretary and president of the Medico-legal Society of Ireland and a member of its council. He was a former chair of the Irish Society for European Law and served as its vice president. 

He was an elected member of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for Ireland in 1986, and was a member of its Council. He was elected vice-chair of the Law Reporting Council in 1993, and served as its chair in 1997. 

He was appointed by the Government to the first Information Society Commission (1997-2000), and was chair of the Legal and Government Affairs Committee of the Commission (1997-2000).

He was a Fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, a former member of the Council of Convocation of the National University of Ireland, and a member of the Committee of Scrutineers at the Law Society of Ireland.

Lifetime contributions 

To mark his lifetime’s contribution to education in the Law Society of Ireland, and to the solicitors’ profession generally, the Society held a room-naming ceremony  in honour of Dr Hall on 18 August 2020.

At that time, director general Ken Murphy commented that “his contributions across an astonishing range of activities of the solicitors’ profession had few equals. In addition, his generous contribution to law reporting in Ireland was remarkable – he was the only solicitor ever to have chaired the Council of Law Reporting during its long history.” 

Mr Murphy added: “Eamonn served as a member of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for more than 30 years, working closely with leading members of the judiciary and the Bar in the production of the Irish Reports – both in print and, more recently, through his initiative, online.

“In a recently published book that contained many tributes to Dr Hall, the Chief Justice Frank Clarke expressed the view that ‘it would be impossible to overstate the contribution which Eamonn Hall has made to the important cause of law reporting in Ireland’, adding that ‘he is also the person who has played the greatest role in its modern evolution and, perhaps, survival’.”   

Central figure

Eamonn was a central figure in the work of the Faculty of Notaries Public in Ireland, serving as a member of its governing council, and as its director of education from 2009. He was recently admitted as a Fellow, receiving the faculty’s medallion. The testimonial acknowledged Eamonn’s immense contribution to the faculty’s endeavours in the education and training of notaries and candidate notaries. 

In addition, he was a member of the International Union of Latin Notaries.

Eamonn’s skills also extended to the journalistic field. He was chair of the Law Society Gazette’s Editorial Board for a period of seven years, and served on the board over a span of three decades.

Eminent author

He was a member of the Editorial Board of the European Counsel 3000/Global Counsel 3000 (1997-2002), and was a Visiting Fellow and member of the Adjunct Faculty of Law at University College Dublin (2000 to 2008). In addition, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Centre for European Law, Trinity College Dublin.

An eminent author, he wrote The Electronic Age: Telecommunication in Ireland (1993), and was consultant editor of The Irish Digest (1994-99) published by the Law Reporting Council for Ireland. 

Eamonn, with Daire Hogan, was co-editor of, and contributor to, The Law Society of Ireland 1852-2002: Portrait of a Profession (2002) – the seminal work on the history of the solicitors’ profession.

He was co-author of the supplement to O’Connor’s The Irish Notary (2007), and author of The Superior Courts of Law: ‘Official’ Law Reporting in Ireland 1866-2006 (2007), as well as contributor for Ireland to Brooke's Notary (13th and 14th editions, published by Sweet & Maxwell).

Awards

In 2004, he received the NUI Galway award for Law, Public Service and Government. More recently, Eamonn chaired the annual Irish Law Awards and, earlier this year, his colleagues honoured him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Mary, his son Alan, daughter Irene, extended family members, grandchildren, relatives, friends and colleagues.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland