Passing of Hon Barry O’Keefe AM QC

Hon Barry O'Keefe AM QC (Photo from Truth, Justice and Healing Council)

Hon Barry O’Keefe AM QC (Photo from Truth, Justice and Healing Council)

24 April 2014

Media statement by Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Sister Annette Cunliffe RSC, President of Catholic Religious Australia on the passing of Hon Barry O’Keefe AM QC.

It is with particular sadness that we mourn the death on 24 April 2014 of the Hon Barry O’Keefe AM QC.

Mr O’Keefe is a former Commissioner of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption, a former Chief Judge of the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of NSW, Chairman of Interpol’s International Group of Experts on Corruption, Chairman of the International Anti-Corruption Conference and a former Mayor of Mosman.

In 1989, Mr O’Keefe was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to local government.

In recognition of his contribution to the Catholic Church, Mr O’Keefe received the Papal Honour of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Gregory the Great in the Chapel of St Vincent’s Hospital Darlinghurst on 22 April 2014.

Australian Catholic University conferred its highest honour, Doctor of University, on Mr O’Keefe in April 2014 for his distinguished career in the Australian judicial system as a practitioner and judge and for a lifetime of outstanding public service in the interests of the common good, particularly in the fight against corruption and injustice.

Mr O’Keefe is survived by his wife, Janette, and their three sons, two daughters and seven grandchildren and we assure them of our prayers and support at this time.

Mr O’Keefe has made an outstanding and distinguished contribution to the community through his service to the law, local and state government and international cooperation particularly in the fight against corruption and injustice.

At the time of his death Mr O’Keefe was the Chair of the Truth Justice and Healing Council established in February 2013 to engage on behalf of the Catholic Church in Australia with the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.

The Catholic Church in Australia has valued the leadership, wisdom, advice and insight of Mr O’Keefe in responding to the important work of the Royal Commission and we remain committed to the full engagement, which he always encouraged us to uphold.

Media Statement: Word (141 KB)  PDF (267 KB)

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