Former Judge John Neilan dies in Roscommon

Nov 25, 2021 16:11 By Shannonside News
Former Judge John Neilan dies in Roscommon Former Judge John Neilan dies in Roscommon
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Judge John Neilan Junior was a member of one of foremost legal families in county Roscommon.

The death has been announced of former District Court Judge John Neilan.

The Roscommon town native served on the Midlands Circuit for many years before his retirement in 2010.

His father also John Snr was the State solicitor of the county, and his brother Brian also served in that role before his premature passing, as well as his other brothers and many other members of the extended Neilan family.


He practiced as a solicitor in Roscommon town before being called to the bench in the 1980s.

He served in Midlands circuit, area mainly Longford, Mullingar, Athlone and Tullamore.

Judge Neilan, regularly made headlines over the years as a result of his outspoken views, and on his retirement commented that honesty was one of his failings, that he never intended to offend anybody and that any remarks he made were done so in the courtroom and never "behind closed doors".


On that occasion he was described by both Gardai and members of the courts service as down to earth, realistic, and reasonable - and despite all the bluster and controversy - extremely fair, wise, and where he judged it was due, sympathetic and compassionate - he also possessed of a strong sense of humour.

John Neilan is survived by his wife Peggy, daughter Gillian, sons Jonathon and Jeven and their families.

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