Heartbroken colleagues and friends of the late Leo Branigan, packed into the District Court last Tuesday morning to pay heartfelt tribute to the esteemed Longford town solicitor who died this week.
Mr Branigan (50), passed away after a short illness, which he bravely bore, on Monday November 19 last, surrounded by his loving family. The late solicitor came from a well established family of legal professionals in the town and was the brother of Longford County Registrar, Imelda Branigan.
In leading the tributes to the late Mr Branigan, Judge Seamus Hughes described him as a man “committed to the rights of ordinary individuals”.
“He was an able and diligent solicitor of huge ability who was committed to the rights of ordinary individuals,” the Judge added. “He held a great respect for people and had a deep sense of dedication to his clients and his spirit will prevail in the four walls of this building for many years to come. I want to express my sympathy to his wife Martina; children Kate, Eimear and Nathan; his sister Imelda - our county registrar, and to his extended family.”
Judge Alan Mitchell, who studied with the late Mr Branigan at Blackhall Place, also spoke from the bench about his friend and pointed to the many legal arguments the pair encountered during their time as practising solicitors. “There is always a deep sense of sadness when we lose a colleague, and particularly at such a young age,” Judge Mitchell said
“I found Leo most helpful and he always put forward the best case for his client. He has been part of the court scene here in Longford for many years and his untimely passing is a great sense of loss to the Branigan family, who have a long history with the legal profession in Longford.”
The Longford Bar Association spokesperson, Mr John Quinn then added, “We all feel the trauma and shock with the sudden passing of our colleague, Leo Branigan”.
Tributes were also paid by Supt Denis Shields, Margaret Curley (court clerk) and Valerie Keogh (probation officer),
The late Leo Branigan is predeceased by his father, Leo and is survived by his wife, Martina; three children; Mother, Kathleen; sisters, Breda, Imelda, Catherine, Gemma, Ethine, Fiona, and large extended family. Ar Dheis Dé go Raibh a h-anam Dilís. Funeral arrangements available on www.longfordleader.ie from today (Wednesday).
“He was a most astute advocate of justice and was full of integrity, who always served the best interests of his clients,” Mr Quinn explained further. “I appreciate that he got bad news last week, but I thought he would be in this life for longer. We are traumatised by his sudden departure and our sympathies go out to his wife, young children, sister Imelda and his extended family. We hope that God will give them all the strength that they need at this time.”
Superintendent Denis Shields then explained that Mr Branigan and the local gardaí had “a very good working relationship”. “Leo fought a great battle to the end and An Garda Síochána had a great working relationship with him,” the Superintendent added. “I had many a conservation and legal battle with him, and is very sad that he has passed away. Our sympathies to his family at this very sad time.”
District Court Clerk, Margaret Curley then paid tribute to the late Mr Branigan on behalf of all the court staff in Longford. “We wish to offer our sincere sympathies to Leo’s wife and children, his mother, sisters and especially his sister Imelda who is our County Registrar,” she stated. “Our heart goes out to them all.”
In conclusion, Probation Officer, Valerie Keogh offered her deepest sympathy to the Branigan family “on the sad passing of Leo”.