Lives Remembered

John McKee: Respected barrister and county court judge also lent expertise to charities

His Honour John McKee was a county court judge in Armagh and Belfast

His Honour John McKee was a widely respected barrister and county court judge who also lent his expertise to a variety of voluntary organisations.

Born in Bangor into a family of solicitors, he spent many of his younger years in the Royal Navy Reserve on HMS Caroline in Belfast and opted for a career at the Bar after studying history and law at Queen's University.

He enjoyed an illustrious career from 1960 until 1981, when he was appointed to the County Court Bench as well as part-time president of Industrial Tribunals.

Judge McKee would preside in courts in Armagh and Belfast before his retirement in 1998, when he was made part-time VAT and Duties Tribunals chairman.

Liam McCollum QC, chairman of the Bar of Northern Ireland, said he was always known for his "fairness and dedication to the rule of law".

In retirement he became involved with St John Ambulance, spending six years as its knight commander for Northern Ireland, and was chairman for marriage counselling service Relate.

Outgoing and generous, he was also an active member of Killinchy Presbyterian Church where he lived for the last 30 years, and gave almost half a century service to the Presbyterian Children's Society in its work supporting families across Ireland.

John McKee died aged 84 on January 11. He is sadly missed by his wife Annette and children Peter, Neil and Judith.

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