Daughters start kindness campaign to honour mother
How the pandemic has highlighted the wage gap
IN DEPTH: Covering a contentious lobster fishery
VIDEO: Cartoonists talk the Trump gold mine
Have you heard about the SaltWire News app?
Daily fall forecasts and weather facts from Cindy Day
SaltWire Selects: Stories you don't want to miss
What you need to know about COVID-19 today
Justice Seamus Bernard O’Regan, a veteran of Newfoundland and Labrador’s judiciary and father of the federal cabinet minister who bears his name, died Thursday at age 79.
Born in St. John’s in 1942, O’Regan went to Holy Cross High School in St. John’s. He completed his undergraduate degree at Memorial University before graduating from Dalhousie Law School in 1968. He was called to the bar in St. John’s that year.
"O’Regan was a pillar of the province’s legal community for decades, between private practice, as a Crown attorney, then as the first appointed judge of the District Court in the newly created Judicial Centre of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and finally as a justice with the Supreme Court,” reads a tribute from Premier Andrew Furey.
“He was a mentor for many of the province’s brightest legal minds, had a quick wit, a wry sense of humour, and could always be counted on to be kind and practical — in any situation.”
Flags at Confederation Building flew at half mast to honour O’Regan’s legacy.
O’Regan was a senior crown attorney during the investigation of abuse at the Mount Cashel Orphanage and later testified at the Hughes Inquiry into abuse there. The inquiry noted the invaluable contribution of O’Regan to the cases that led to the inquiry, as well as his testimony.
He was appointed to the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in 1984, spending most of his career in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. O’Regan retired from his position in 2017.
“Mr. O’Regan was known as someone with a quick wit and was a gifted storyteller. On behalf of the PC Official Opposition, we wish to offer condolences to his friends, family and loved ones in this difficult time,” reads a tribute from Progressive Conserative Leader Ches Crosbie.
“He was a man of integrity and will be sorely missed.”
O’Regan leaves to mourn his wife of 51 years, Janet, sons Seamus and Danny O’Regan, daughter Raili Flynn, and grandchildren Elizabeth, Michael, Billy Flynn, and Daniel O’Regan. Cremation has taken place, with a memorial service to take place when COVID-19 restrictions allow.
“Seamus's wit, kind nature and gift for storytelling will be missed by his family, wide circle of friends and colleagues,” reads a passage from O’Regan’s obituary.
“With his passing, we are reminded of his wish that we ‘be good to each other.’”