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Former State pathologist John Harbison dies

Harbison was succeeded by Professor Marie Cassidy in January 2004

Harbison pictured in 2001.
Harbison pictured in 2001.
Image: Joe Dunne/Photocall Ireland!

FORMER STATE PATHOLOGIST Professor John Harbison has died. 

Harbison, who was in his 80s, passed away peacefully yesterday according to a death notice posted online. 

He became the state’s first forensic pathologist in 1974, retiring in 2003. 

During his 30 year career, he was involved in a number of high profile cases including those of Sophie Toscan Du Plantier, the Kerry babies, and Father Niall Molloy. 

Before serving as the first forensic pathologist in the country, he lectured in medical jurisprudence at Trinity College Dublin, and in the early 1990s was appointed professor of forensic medicine and toxicology at the Royal College of Surgeons. 

Harbison was succeeded by Professor Marie Cassidy in January 2004. Cassidy later retired in 2018.

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He is survived by his wife Kathleen, children Isobel and Austin, grandchildren Jack and Edith, brother Peter, and son-in-law Conor. He will be laid to rest on Monday.

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Adam Daly

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