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Tributes to Malachy, known as the wise High King of West Cork

December 10th, 2022 5:50 PM

By Brian Moore

West Cork State solicitor Malachy Boohig took up the position in 1986.

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IN a career spanning almost four decades, West Cork’s State solicitor Malachy Boohig was just, courageous and simply outstanding.

These were some of the sentiments  for Malachy as he retired last week at a ceremony presided over by Judge Helen Boyle at Cork Circuit Court.

When he first took the position as the State’s prosecuting solicitor in West Cork in 1986, little did he know that he would oversee some of the country’s biggest drug smuggling cases. In fact he oversaw the court actions in which drugs with a combined street value well over €1bn were seized, as well as high profile fisheries protection actions, and a still unsolved murder case, to name just a few.

In a packed court room, Malachy was joined by fellow solicitors, barristers, senior gardaí, court staff and judges as they gathered to pay their tributes after he announced his retirement from the bench.

Bandon solicitor and president of the West Cork Bar Association, Plunkett Taaffe, told all those gathered that he was not only a great colleague, but a great friend as well.

‘Malachy may be city born and bred, but he was matured and refined in West Cork,’ Mr Taaffe said.

On behalf of An Garda Síochána, Supt Ger O’Mahony of Clonakilty said the State solicitor was always available 24/7 to give advice and direction. ‘And that advice was always accurate, balanced and based on common sense.’

Representing the DDP, chief State solicitor Helena Kiely thanked Malachy for ‘the long and distinguished service’ that he had given to the office of the DPP and the people of West Cork.

Judge Boyle said she had known Malachy for his fairness, his sense of justice and his wisdom.

‘When Malachy was dealing with young fellows in West Cork who were in trouble, he knew the young fellows that needed a bit of a steer to keep them on the straight and narrow, and he also knew the young fellows who were maybe heading for bigger trouble and needed a bit of a fright,’ Judge Boyle said. She added that with a name like Malachy he could have been the ‘High King of West Cork’ and would have been known as ‘Malachy the Fair, Malachy the Just and Malachy the Wise.’

Malachy’s daughter Sarah Boohig, who worked with her father for over 11 years, said that she was full of pride having seen him at his work and that her late mother Marywould have been very proud.

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