The firm regularly appears at inquests held under the Coroners Act 1962 in all parts of Ireland.

We are familiar with the fact that inquests can help to determine the true facts around sudden death. We are also aware of the limitations on inquests, given the unsatisfactory nature of the law.

MacGuill & Company has been involved in successfully challenging these limitations before the European Court of Human Rights, leading directly to the introduction of the Ad Hoc Scheme for Legal Aid in Inquests and, in one instance, to the establishment of a commission of investigation as an alternative to an overly restrictive inquest process.

In suitable cases, the firm can act for legally aided persons before coroners.

We have working relations with independent pathologists, who are in a position to act swiftly, if necessary, in cases of suspicious or unexplained death where the family require an independent second opinion.

We are familiar with criminal investigations, which are often a central issue in inquests, and we have independent advisers in relation to the correct investigation methods.

We have successfully petitioned for the reopening of closed inquests and have been involved in having verdicts quashed in inquests where fair procedures were not followed.

  • Magee v Ireland

Death in police custody – lack of legal aid for participation in inquest – right to life – right to fair procedures – settlement reached with Irish Government

  • Nic Gibb v Ireland

Fatal shooting by Gardai – right to life – delay – inadequacies in inquest procedure – no effective investigation – to fair procedures

  • Lawlor v Geraghty

Death following a medical procedure abroad – quashed initial decision of coroner – fair procedures – duty on coroner to carry out full and sufficient inquiry

  • Anthony Duffy deceased

Representation of family at inquest – open verdict recorded

  • Shane Clancy deceased

Representation of family at inquest – open verdict recorded

  • Hickey deceased

Representation of family at inquest – death in custody


James MacGuill

P:+353 (42) 933 4026

Aimée McCumiskey

P:+353 (42) 933 4026

Elise Martin-Vignerte

P:+353 (1) 878 7022