The bio below comes from a published article and may now be dated.
Donal Barrington (1928–2018) was a barrister and judge. He was a member of the Supreme Court of Ireland from 1996 to 2000, and after retirement from the Court he served as the first president of the Irish Human Rights Commission. Barrington studied law at University College Dublin, where he wrote a master’s thesis on Edmund Burke. He was an active entrepreneur in civic life, helping to found the think tank Tuairim in 1954 and the watchdog Irish Council on Civil Liberties in 1976. An obituary in the Irish Times says that during his legal career he “achieved a cast-iron reputation as an advocate for whom constitutional rights, particularly when under threat, were of primary concern.” On the occasion of his being awarded an honorary degree by the National University of Ireland, the introductory speech stated that “His social concern for great principles is matched by his empathy for individuals and their idiosyncrasies.”