After almost three decades of service to the courts, warm tributes were paid to chief clerk, Val Cronin, at Letterkenny District Court on Monday ahead of his retirement.
District Judge Paul Kelly led the tributes saying that there was a function held the previous Friday but that he wished to state publicly that the Cork man had given “sterling service” to the court system and the public in his long career.
“Very few people come to court willingly, but Val and his staff have done their best that people get the best of service and are afforded all due courtesy and consideration,” Judge Kelly stated.
He said his first posting was in Limerick and he moved to Letterkenny where he spent the last 28 years.
Circuit court Judge John O’Hagan also attended the court to wish him well.
Val’s colleague Anita Toland, on behalf of the court services, paid tribute saying he was a great source of guidance and always easy to work with.
Garda Inspector Michael Harrison said much had changed from when Mr Cronin first arrived in Donegal as there was no traffic lights or computers in the court services at that time and he wished him the best for the future.
Barrister Damien Crawford said Mr Cronin was of “pivotal importance” to the working of the local court office.
Kind and honest
Barrister Peter Nolan said he has known Mr Cronin for many years and he was always “kind and helpful” to everyone. Mr Nolan added that many years ago Val had to help clear the rats from the courts before the sitting could take place.
“I’m not joking when I say there were actual four-legged rats in the old courthouse. They were different times,” Mr Nolan stated.
Solicitor Kieran O’Gorman said the outgoing clerk had left the court services in a “very organised” way and wished Mr Cronin, his wife Rose and family all the best for the future.
Mr Cronin addressed the court and thanked everyone for their kind wishes and paid tribute to his colleagues and wish his successor well.