Patrick Kelly: Prominent lawyer dies in bicycle accident as Law Society of Northern Ireland honors ‘gentleman’

The Law Society has paid tribute to a well-known lawyer from Northern Ireland after he died from injuries sustained in a cycling accident over the weekend.

atrick Kelly was one of the founders of McConnell, Kelly and Co Solicitors 32 years ago before retiring in May.

The father-of-two, in his 60s, was cycling in Wicklow on Sunday when he suffered a serious head injury after falling off his bike.

It is understood he was transferred to a specialist brain injury unit but, despite their best efforts, Mr Kelly never regained consciousness.

On Thursday, members of the legal profession traveled to Court Number 10 at the Laganside complex in Belfast to pay their respects.

Presiding District Judge Mark McGarrity said he has appeared in many of the most demanding and complex criminal cases ever prosecuted in the jurisdiction.

“Pat has had an illustrious career and is recognized as one of the finest lawyers in the country,” Mr. McGarrity said.

“For decades he has demonstrated the highest standards of professionalism and integrity serving the community as an advocate and personally helping thousands of people when they were most desperate and vulnerable.

“He did it all with unparalleled ease and dexterity because he was cool.

“Always in a good mood, I find it hard to think of a colleague who so conscientiously and consistently displayed kindness, a calm temperament and class.”

The President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Brigid Napier, said she was “deeply shocked and saddened” to learn of Mr Kelly’s death.

“I had known him for many years and he was highly respected among his colleagues and clients for his professionalism,” she said.

“His passing is tragic and will be felt by many who knew him as a gentleman within the legal profession.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Doreen, their sons Rory and Conor and his former colleagues at McConnell Kelly.”

Mr Kelly and Fergus McConnell founded their law firm 32 years ago and the pair retired together just six weeks ago.

The company has four offices in Bangor and East Belfast.

In a moving address, lawyer Richard McConkey told how Mr Kelly looked forward to spending time with the family he adored and indulging his passion for cycling.

“Pat Kelly retired on March 31 without fuss and with the typical humility he behaved in everyday life,” he said.

“He was as happy as we have ever seen him in his retirement.”

Mr McConkey described it as an honor to have been the lawyer’s friend and colleague for the past 15 years,

“It’s very rare to find someone in this business that no one has a bad word to say about, but I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about Pat Kelly,” he said. he adds.

Barrister Brendan Blaney remembered his legal colleague as a trusted friend who brightened up his smile and “mischievous sense of humor” every day.

“Pat was a daily example of the best attributes a lawyer should aim to display,” he said.

“He carried his more than 35 years of legal expertise and advocacy lightly, he was unwaveringly polite, courteous and good-natured, and he will be sorely missed by us all.”

Jonathan Burke, director of McConnell Kelly, stressed that Mr. Kelly will be forever missed.

“We loved Pat and will always love Pat,” he said.

“We are very grateful to have been his colleagues and to have had the opportunity to work alongside him and to become lifelong friends.

Fergus McConnell, the lifelong friend who founded the law firm with Mr Kelly, thanked everyone who had contact with the family.

“(The) kindness and support over these past difficult days has brought them much comfort and comfort.”

Pat is survived by his wife Doreen and his two sons Rory and Conor.