Gordon Holmes

The outstanding contribution of Gordon Holmes to Irish society is honoured today by the University of Limerick. The city of Limerick also has cause to be grateful to this citizen for his elevenyear service as State Solicitor for the city during a time in which he also acted as Solicitor to the Attorney-General. Gordon Holmes comes from a prominent Limerick medical family which has given expert professional support to the community over many years. His leadership as Managing Partner and Chairman of the largest law firm in the Mid-West, Holmes O'Malley Sexton for the last thirty-five years is a notable achievement, which has also brought credit to the reputation of Limerick as a centre of legal expertise. An unsung achievement, Gordon Holmes' skill as a bridge-player led to his representation of Ireland in the European Bridge League in the 1960s and to a meeting with the famed Omar Sharif. Who came off the victor in this meeting of champions is not recorded! Gordon Holmes has devoted time, energy and professional care to acts of public benefit across a wide range of institutions. He was appointed Chairman of the Commission on Liquor Licensing in 2000 and presided over the four reports that made up the work of that body. He served for 24 years on the Rules Committee of the Superior Court of Ireland and has been Chairman of the Parole Board of the Republic of Ireland in recent years. His membership over some years and appointment as chairman in 2002 of the Garda Siochána Complaints Board testifies further to his strong commitment to the people and government of Ireland. Of the Law, Richard Hooker envisioned an institution of which, "all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power". Gordon Holmes has shown an exemplary understanding of this axiom in his generous and responsible attitude to the needs of the state and his willingness to use his incisive legal intelligence in the work of developing a vibrant, just and efficient system of governance. We may apply the words of Wallace Stevens to the contribution of Gordon Holmes, "He lives on the bread of faithful speech". Gordon Holmes takes a keen interest in the Turf, having acted as a Steward of the Turf Club and he is currently Chairman of the Betting Appeals Board - having been re-appointed recently for the sixth time to that position. He strongly supported the National Institute for Higher Education in its successful bid to become the University of Limerick in the 1980s and is now a Director of the University of Limerick Foundation as well as of the J P McManus Charitable Foundation and the Hunt Museum. "Friendship", quotes Boswell, 'the wine of life' should, like a wellstocked cellar, be continually renewed". The University of Limerick is pleased to take this opportunity to affirm and renew its long-standing friendship with Gordon Holmes.


There is no idea so uplifting as the idea of service to humanity.

Woodrow Wilson