Ireland's first Director of Public Prosecutions dies

Eamonn Barnes held the post from 1974 to 1999

Ireland's first Director of Public Prosecutions dies

The former Director of Prosecutions, Eamon Barnes, is seen in this file photo | Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The first Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Ireland has died.

Eamonn Barnes held the post for 25 years, from 1974 to 1999.

He was appointed as the country's first DPP after the position became separate from the Attorney-General's Office.

He was called to the Bar in 1958.

Following a period in private practice as a barrister, he joined the Attorney-General's Office in 1966.

He was also instrumental in the foundation of the International Association of Prosecutors in 1995, and served as its president from 1996 until his retirement.

The association now has organisational members in 171 countries around the world.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said Mr Barnes established "the unquestioned independence of the position from Government."

Mr Flanagan said he was "saddened" to hear of his death.

"I extend my sympathies to his family, friends and former colleagues", he added.

The current DPP, Claire Loftus, said: "I, along with my colleagues, had the greatest admiration for Eamonn Barnes as a public servant and as Ireland's first Director of Public Prosecutions.

"He set up this office, asserted its statutory independence, and established the highest prosecutorial standards which we still adhere to today.

"I join with the staff of this office in extending our deepest sympathies to Mr Barnes' children and extended family."