HIGHLY RESPECTED The late Seamus Hughes is pictured during his tenure as Mayo State Solicitor.
A well-known former judge and TD (69) has died after a battle with illness
Michael Duffy and Anton McNulty
Funeral arrangements were announced following the passing of Seamus Hughes, the former judge and TD of Westport, who died on Tuesday after a courageous battle with illness.
Rest will be at his residence on Newport Road in Westport this Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Requiem Mass is on Friday afternoon at 3.30pm at St Mary’s Church in Westport, followed by interment in Aughagower Cemetery.
Seamus will be sadly missed by his loving wife Maria, sons Colin, Emmet and Donal, daughter Sarah, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, parents and a large circle of friends.
Born in 1952, Seamus was the third eldest in a family of 13 and a longtime member of the Fianna Fáil party.
He was first co-opted to Westport Urban District Council in 1984 before his election to Mayo County Council in 1985. He was then elected to Dáil Eireann in 1992, representing Mayo West constituency, and served for five years.
A qualified lawyer, Mr Hughes was appointed as a Mayo State Attorney in 2000 and then served as a District Court Judge from 2009.
Commenting on his death, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: ‘I am deeply saddened by the passing of Seamus Hughes, someone who served the people of Westport with distinction as a TD and councillor. I knew Seamus very well, as a colleague of the Dail, and later when he was a district court judge. He was a very calm, measured and decent person. A serious gentleman. My deepest condolences to his wife Maria and his children, Colin, Emmet, Sarah and Donal.
Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo, Dara Calleary, said he too was deeply saddened to learn of Mr Hughes’ passing.
“Seamus was a proud man and a tremendous public representative. His distinguished service to his community, his county and his party is an inspiration and a role model for others to follow.
“Seamus was part of a generation of public officials whose shared vision and ambition for Westport had a huge influence on the success of the city today. His political and legal legacy will be felt for many years to come. J offer my deepest condolences to the Hughes family, his wife Maria, his daughter Sarah, his sons, Colin, Emmet and Donal, his siblings and extended family Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
Legal colleagues pay tribute
Tributes were also paid by legal colleagues at a Circuit Court session in Castlebar.
Leading the tributes to Mr Hughes was his successor in the role of state attorney for Mayo, Vincent Deane, who said he had helped him immensely when he took over that role. Mr Deane said he will be sadly missed by all State Prosecutors in Ireland and all those who served and worked with him in the justice system.
Circuit Court Judge Brian O’Callaghan said he had the pleasure of appearing before Judge Hughes more than once when he was working as a barrister and was always keenly aware of what he had to say about the law.
He described Mr Hughes as a ‘community lawyer, a community lawyer and a community man’ who has helped bring about positive change in the way the country’s legal system works and bring the courts ‘outside of the Pale”.
Judge O’Callaghan concluded by saying that Mayo had lost a popular son who had done service to the county.
Marc Loftus, on behalf of Mayo’s lawyers. said he was saddened to hear the news of Mr Hughes who he said had served the county for many years. He said that as a judge he was always fair and had a good working relationship with all parties and he sent his condolences to his family.
Mr Diarmuid Connolly, on behalf of county solicitors, said Mr Hughes’ death was “a serious loss to the county”. He said he often thought of the many cups of coffee he had with Mr Hughes after a circuit court sitting in Westport and learned a lot from him.
Condolences have also been sent to Mr Hughes’ family on behalf of Mayo Probation Services and Court Services.
View Seamus Hughes’ obituary on our website at https://www.mayonews.ie/obituaries/38586-seamus-hughes