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Friday, 22 March 2013

March 22 1931: The death of the 1st Baron Glenavy on this day. James Henry Mussen Campbell was born into a solidly Unionist family in Dublin in 1851. He attended Trinity College, graduating with a B.A. in 1874. After being called to the Irish bar in 1878, Campbell was made an Irish Queen’s Counsel in 1892 and six years later was elected Unionist M.P. for the Dublin seat of St. Stephen’s Green. The following year he called to the English bar, and in 1903 was elected to the House of Commons as representative for Dublin University, also becoming Solicitor General that same year. He was made the country's Attorney General in 1905, and in 1916 became Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. He was created a Baronet in 1917, and the following year was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland. On relinquishing office in 1921 he was ennobled as Baron Glenavy, of Milltown.

In January 1923 Lord Glenavy chaired a Judicial Committee to advise the Irish Free State on the creation of a new courts system. His recommendations were implemented in the Courts of Justice Act 1924 which largely created the Irish courts as they currently exist. He was appointed to the Irish Free State Senate in 1922 and held the position of Chairman/Caothairleach Seanaid Éireann of that body until 1928 when he did not seek reappointment. He died in 1931 and is buried in Mount St Jerome Cemetery