Tribute to outgoing public prosecutor implicated in some of Ireland’s biggest drug cases and more

He may have processed more drugs than Pablo Escobar and caught more fish than Captain Ahab, although he even dealt with the strange case of poitín in his time, but now, after almost four decades of service in Ireland, the West Cork State Attorney, Malachy Buhig is in custody. take your hat off as a prosecutor.

First appointed to this position in 1986, Mr. Buhig has been involved in investigating some of the largest drug smuggling cases in the country, such as Gemeos, Posidonia, Lucky Day, Dances with Waves and Makayabella, in which the total street value of drugs was well over € . 1 billion arrested.

And in his 36 years of service, Mr. Buhig has become a leading authority in prosecuting Irish and foreign trawlers for violating EU fishing regulations, gaining experience that he has been happy to share with government lawyers along and across the Irish coast.

On Thursday, those colleagues, along with fellow lawyers, barristers, senior police officers, court staff and serving and retired judges, gathered at Court 4 at Anglesey Street Courthouse in Cork to pay their respects when Mr Buhig bowed one last time before the court and resigned from his government job.

The awards ceremony was officiated by Chief Solicitor of State Helena Keely, who, on behalf of the DPP, Katherine Pierce, thanked Mr Buguig for “the long and distinguished service he has rendered to the DPP and to the people of West Cork over the past 36 years”. years.”

Ms. Keely recalled how Mr. Buhig was first appointed by then Attorney General John Rogers, SC, and how he acted on behalf of four different DPPs, Eamon Barnes, James Hamilton, Claire Loftus and Ms. Pierce, and how he was known for his willingness to share his experience with new government attorneys.

“DPP took over responsibility for the Public Solicitor Service in May 2007 and Malachy, along with some of his colleagues here, Michael Murray and Barry Galvin, were instrumental in negotiating new contractual arrangements for public solicitors across Ireland, a legacy that continues today.”

Father of Cork Bar Donal McCarthy B.L. said that Mr. Buhig was known for his ability to negotiate the cost of catch and tackle in fisheries cases with the legal representatives of the defendants, which greatly helped the courts when it came to the difficult issue of a fine.

Supt Ger O’Mahony of Clonakilty, speaking on behalf of An Garda Síochána, said Mr. Buhig was involved in some of the most high-profile investigations in the area.

“Malaki has always been available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to give advice and direction, and that advice has always been accurate, balanced and based on common sense… he is a man of great humility who never wanted or aspired to be in the center attention and he provided a quality service for Garda. West of Cork.

Judge Helen Boyle said that she knew Mr. Bouguig, both through his practice and as a judge, and she believed that he had a reputation for honesty, fairness and wisdom in dealing with those who stand trial and that he always was true to his word in such a relationship.

“When Malachy was dealing with young boys in West Cork who were in trouble, he knew young people who needed a little tweaking to keep them on the straight and narrow path, and he also knew young people who might be heading towards more serious problems. and it needed to be a little scary.”

Mr Buguig’s daughter Sarah said it had been a difficult four years for her father and for them as a family since his wife Mary died in 2018, but she had no doubt that her late mother would be very proud to see and hearing so much is a tribute to her father.

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By Peter Kavinsky

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