Page last updated at 07:29 GMT, Thursday, 5 June 2008 08:29 UK

Prominent barrister Creaney dies

John Creaney - Alan Lewis
John Creaney QC passed away on Tuesday.

One of Northern Ireland's leading lawyers has died following a long battle with leukaemia.

Business at Belfast Crown Court was adjourned for a time on Wednesday after the death of John Creaney QC, OBE, at his home in Cultra was announced.

The Recorder of Belfast, His Honour Tom Burgess, said Mr Creaney "served the cause of justice with great integrity".

Mr Creaney, first called to the Bar in 1957, had been a prosecutor during the 'supergrass' trials of the Troubles.

More recently, he prosecuted Abbas Boutrab, the first suspected al-Qaeda linked terrorist convicted in Northern Ireland, high profile loyalist Andre Shoukri for guns offences and Robert Young for the murder of Red Hand Commando member Jim Johnston.

He was also involved in the Stevens Inquiry and as a chief advisor in the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

"There will of course be the time and opportunity to reflect and speak of his life and of the contribution he has made to our legal system but in this immediate time after his death, we mourn a good friend and a great character," Judge Burgess said, offering his sympathies to his family.

Aged in his mid-70's, Mr Creaney was educated at Armagh Royal where he was a keen rugby player and cricketer.

During his time as a lawyer, Mr Creaney had three pupils of note - Unionist Robert McCartney, Peter Lavery who was on the Patten committee on policing and also the current Lord Chief Justice, Sir Brian Kerr.

A colonel in the Territorial Army he received an OBE in the 1980s for services to the TA.

Mr Creaney lived in Cultra and had a lasting enthusiasm for military history and was a leading authority on the American Civil War.

He is survived by his wife Evelyn and daughters Felicity, Hazel and Ann.

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