Patrick Connolly

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Patrick Connolly
20th Attorney General of Ireland
In office
9 March 1982 – 17 August 1982
TaoiseachCharles Haughey
Preceded byPeter Sutherland
Succeeded byJohn L. Murray
Personal details
Patrick James Connolly

(1927-05-25)25 May 1927
Oldtown, Dublin, Ireland
Died7 January 2016(2016-01-07) (aged 88)
Dalkey, Dublin, Ireland
Political partyFianna Fáil
Alma mater

Patrick James Connolly (25 May 1927 – 7 January 2016)[1] was an Irish barrister who served as Attorney General of Ireland from March 1982 to August 1982.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Connolly was born on 25 May 1927, the elder of the two sons of a headmaster and a teacher in Fingal, in Dublin. He was educated at St Joseph's College, University College Dublin and the King's Inns, after which he was called to the Bar in 1949. His practice, which focused on personal injury cases, was widely successful. On 9 March 1982, Taoiseach Charles Haughey named him as Attorney General of Ireland.[3]

MacArthur Scandal[edit]

Connolly resigned on 17 August 1982 after Malcolm MacArthur, who had been a house-guest of Connolly's, was arrested for murder.[4][5] MacArthur, the domestic partner of Connolly's friend Brenda Little, had committed a horrific double murder in the midst of a botched carjacking and robbery in 1982. Though Connolly was not implicated in the murder or in knowingly harbouring the assassin, he was forced to resign at midnight the night of MacArthur's arrest and never again served in government.

Later life and death[edit]

Connolly returned to practice at the Irish bar and to work as a senior counsel in Dublin. Connolly died aged 88 on 7 January 2016. Though he never married, he had a very close relationship with his extended family, including his nephew and two nieces who spoke at his funeral Mass. He was buried in Deansgrange Cemetery.[6]


  1. ^ "AG whose life changed after Macarthur entanglement". The Irish Times. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Act of kindness to a vile murderer destroyed Patrick Connolly's career". Archived from the original on 30 June 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  3. ^ "Appointment of Ministers and Minister of State – Dáil Éireann (23rd Dáil)". Houses of the Oireachtas. 23 March 1982. Archived from the original on 28 October 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Charles Haughey". BBC News Online. 13 June 2006. Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  5. ^ "Irish Attorney General Quits; Had Murder Suspect at Home". The New York Times. 17 August 1982. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Ex-attorney general in Gubu case dies". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
Legal offices
Preceded by Attorney General of Ireland
Succeeded by