6/29/2000 – This was sent by Carole Lynskey from NZ.
(Copied from Sunday Pictorial, December 12th, 1948.)
Lets get it quite straight, Sir George Justin Lynskey, one of his Majesty’s judges and chairman of the Tribunal which now bears his name, is as Irish as they come. The name? An English corruption of the old Gaelic O’Loinscigh. Other variations; Linsky, Linskey, Lynchey. But the most common of all is Lynch.
Tomorrow morning, Mr. Justice Lynskey will leave his London home and go by Underground and bus to Church House, Westminster. The owner of a 1947 Armstrong-Siddeley, he does not drive himself, is not very happy about being driven. At the Tribunal his personality, previously little known outside the law has clearly emerged. He is not a judge given to startling opinions or witty asides. He handles witnesses firmly but with consideration – on two occasions he adjourned the Tribunal early because he thought Mr Sherman needed a rest. He has undoubtedly found Sidney Stanley an irritating character. On Monday he told him: ‘I have given you a lot of rope. Please behave yourself.” But his patience has never quite been exhausted.
Like plenty of other Irishmen, Lynskey was born in Liverpool. But, as any Irishman will tell you, that doesn’t make him English. His father was one of fourteen children, reared in Co. Galway, who crossed to England to make a career for himself. He did well, became a solicitor, an alderman on the Liverpool Council, and a prominent Irish Nationalist. Young George Lynskey went into his father’s firm. It didn’t take him long to decide that he wanted to be a barrister. Against his father’s wishes he studied for the Bar. When he was called to the Bar in 1920, he had been married for seven years – to Eileen Prendiville, a Liverpool girl who was half-Irish. They hadn’t much money to play around with in the early years of their marriage, but things improved during the next ten years. George Lynskey became a prominent member of the Bar on the Northern Circuit.
His line was civil law, actions involving industrial and commercial interests. One of the pupils in his chambers was Sir David Maxwell Fyfe. On Lynskey’s advice, he also “went north” to launch a brilliant career. In 1930, Lynskey took silk and became a K.C. In 1937 he was appointed Judge of the Salford Hundred Court of Record, which concerns itself mostly with civil claims. In 1944, when Mr Justice Lawrence became a Lord of Appeal and attached to the King’s Bench, Division. (As a result, he probably dropped 15,000 a year). Lynskey holds strong views, detests crimes of violence and cruelty to children. He punishes such offenders with the utmost severity. A devout Roman Catholic – during the Tribunal he has rebuked witnesses for “invoking the name of Deity” – he disliked handling divorce cases.
Lynskey himself is very much a family man, is distressed by the obvious break-up in family life around him and the constant rift between children and parents. He has two daughters and two grandsons. He is very fond of children and one or the other of the grandsons, aged six and three, spends a great deal of time at his house in Winnington – road, Finchley. Once, when he was offered a judgeship in India, he turned it down because it would mean leaving his daughters behind at school in Britain. The Lynskey home (five beds, two baths, three reception rooms) is modern, comfortable and unostentatious. The family keep one maid, who has been with them for years. She shares the housework pretty evenly with Lady Lynskey. Even if her husband were Lord Chief Justice – not an impossibility – Lady Lynskey still couldn’t divorce herself from her kitchen. She loves cooking, is proud of her cakes.
The Lynskey’s entertain little, seldom go out in the evenings. When the day’s work is done, the judge still find plenty to do at home. But he doesn’t let it interfere with his listening to his fellow Liverpudlian Tommy Handley in Itma. He has a taste for dance music. In the summer, when he is not sitting, he can usually be found at Lord’s for he is a great cricket lover, and since his residence in the South, he has transferred his allegiance to Middlesex – with reservations when they play Lancashire. He is also a football fan – his team is Everton.
How can he be assessed?