Jean Forest

New Jersey based attorney Ed Lynch with a tribute to the late Jean Forest

Dear Fr. Des, Jim Kelly and friends:

Today I learned of the passing of Jean Forest, a champion of the Irish people.

Jean and Richard Harvey are the folks who got me involved in the campaign for human and civil rights in the North beginning in 1992.

Jean was fearless. Although not a lawyer, she understood the basic injustice of the Diplock Courts and the British system of conveyor belt disposition--from the streets of West Belfast and elsewhere to the Crumlin Road Jail, to the Crumlin Road Court and finally to Long Kesh. And she spoke out forcefully to one and all and demanded the repression stop.

I was with her when she confronted Ronnie Flanagan and officials of the NIO and demanded answers to her pertinent questions on specific miscarriages of justice. Invariably, they were flummoxed.

One noted barrister recounted how when Jean marched into court and took a front bench seat eyeball to eyeball with the Lord Justice, his objections on behalf of the accused suddenly found favor with His Lordship.

I can safely say that Jean was never intimidated by any of the officialdom she encountered in her campaigns in Ireland and the US.

I know that you will remember Jean in your thoughts and prayers this Christmas.
She was definitely one of a kind in a very good way.

May her spirit live on.

May you have a blessed Christmas and a good New Year.


  1. Ed,

    thanks for this. A formidable human rights advocate. A sad loss.

  2. Sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jean Forest

    On this sad occasion i take the opportunity to wish everyone on the pensive Quill a very happy christmas with hopes of a better 2015

  3. Jean was known for her active hands on approach to human rights advocacy and was not at all slow about stepping up to do the work.

    My deepest condolences to her family and friends.

    Christy Walsh