What legendary civil servant Peter Berry can teach us about the Department of Justice

Berry believed ministers come and go, but the Department of Justice goes on forever, and can play by different rules to other departments

26th November, 2017
The first minister for justice was Kevin O’Higgins, who was shot dead in 1922

Peter Berry was the most dominant and legendary figure in the history of the Department of Justice. Berry was an obsessive and authoritarian figure who trusted very few around him.

He put so many justice ministers through his hands that, in his first encounter with new minister Desmond O’Malley, in the wake of the arms crisis, he reminded him that his “first minister was Kevin O’Higgins – and he was shot, you know”....

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