The death has occurred of Adrian MANNERING
Harold's Cross, Dublin
Effortlessly at home. Beloved father of Robert and his partner Kirsten, much loved brother of Valerie, Harry and Susanne, uncle of Stephen and his wife Stefanie, Rachel, Gary, Caroline, Joanne, Ciara and Har and granduncle of Elizabeth. Very sadly missed by his loving family, relatives and a wide circle of friends.
Rest in Peace
Reposing at his home on Monday evening (20 January) from 6 pm to 8 pm. A celebration of Adrian’s life will take place on Tuesday morning (21 January) at 10 am in the Victorian Chapel, Mount Jerome followed by cremation. Family flowers only please.
Born in Dublin in 1948, Adrian was the third of four children born to Susan and Harry (Har) Mannering of Terenure. Between paper routes and street football matches and classes at St. Joseph’s primary school, Terenure, Adrian and his siblings were a key fixture in 1950s South Dublin. A child during the jet age, Adrian embodied the optimism of the era. Captivated with football, aviation, and pop records, Adrian was also a keen reader and bright intellect. Along with the rest of his family, he was never without a book and the Clann na Poblachta meetings held at his family home would form the backbone of his famed idealism.
Awarded a scholarship to Sandymount High School, Adrian was a gifted student. However, with no realistic path to college and unsatisfied with his attempts at various apprenticeships, he enlisted with the Royal Air Force with the hope of availing of the education opportunities that came with it. On the aptitude test he was given, a question on the paper asked him to identify an obscure piece of an engine assembly. Adrian, with his famed ability of encyclopedic recall, had seen the diagram before and answered the question successfully. He was immediately assigned to the mechanic corps of the RAF and was deployed to 1 squadron in Norfolk where he worked on Harrier Jump-jets. The camaraderie he had with his squadron mates soon banished his intense homesickness for Dublin. Deployments to Libya and Norway followed before Adrian de-mobilised to enroll in the University of Sussex in Brighton.
Working as a bus mechanic while studying for a degree in economic history, Adrian was also a natural fit in Brighton’s infamous art scene. A gifted singer and story-teller with a large presence, Adrians romanticism in Brighton left a huge impression on whomever he met - a recurring theme throughout his life. After college, Adrian went to New York where he fell in with the burgeoning New York folk scene.
After a bright spell in Greenwich Village, Adrian returned to Dublin on a wave of songwriting and poetry. Always a student, Adrian returned to his studies, first at UCD and then at the Kings Inns where he read Law. He was called to the Bar of Ireland in Michaelmas Term, 1980. Full of political idealism collected in his youth and equipped with his powerful intellect, Adrian commenced his lifelong career as a barrister, soon building a reputation as a fierce advocate with a razor-sharp legal mind. His recall of detail, his effortless charm, and his forceful personality soon became well known throughout the Courts. He positioned himself as a progressive outsider, beyond the mainstream political circuits, and a staunch opponent of entrenched conservative views and laws. As well as being a dedicated opponent to the built-in Roman Catholic theocracy of the Irish legal code, Adrian was sensitive to the problems affecting inner-city Dublin, he undertook pro bono work and took carriage of many difficult cases involving social injustice. As he became more accomplished and experienced over the years, he remained an enthusiastic proponent of the independent Bar, and to that end he gave freely of his time and knowledge to many young Devils and Barristers starting out in their careers. He took silk in Hilary Term 2004. Later in his career as counsel, when briefed in the criminal courts by both the DPP and defence solicitors, his extensive command of the English language was unleashed on many a Dublin jury to great effect. His Closing Speeches were intense, far from formulaic, never boring or predictable and would often contain a splattering of “Dublinese” that Joyce himself would have been proud to pen.
Through the Dublin music scene, of which he was a big part, Adrian met Ellen Nippolt in the early 1980s, an American architectural student and visual artist from Portland, Oregon. Their relationship was electric and they soon wed in Dublin. Soon after, they were proud parents to Robert, named after Ellen’s father. The whirlwind romance didn’t last, with Ellen going back to America within a few years. They remained friendly, and Adrian was a committed and loving father, with Robert returning to live with him in the summer of 1997.
Robert returned to the United States in 2008 and Adrian retired from the law in 2010. A passionate gardener, Adrian turned his small backyard in Harolds Cross into a wonderful oasis where he spent most of his time in retirement, and could be seen on his bicycle across Dublin every day. He continued to play and sing in pubs across the city and was to be found singing every week at the Teachers club on Parnell Square.
He passed suddenly, gracefully, and effortlessly at his home in South Dublin. He was surrounded by his friends (of which there were countless) and family. He was a passionate, romantic, and generous man who was a gifted story-teller and thought the world of those he knew. He knew the city well and the city knew him. He was a great man and a true Dub. And he’ll be missed terribly.
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