Tommy Travers was a resident magistrate in Belfast at the height of the Troubles. Kind, patient, and willing to give defendant a chance, he was all you could hope for as a defence solicitor or barrister. I always appeared before him for the Crown. I admired him greatly for his patience and courtesy.
A witness for the Crown, in relation to a riot in a club in west Belfast , said that the difficulties had started after the national anthem. Tommy intervened to ask “they played the Queen?”
Answer : “no your worship, the Soldiers Song”
That was Tommy,somewhat naive , endlessly patient and fair. The consequence was the killing of his daughter, because he supported the Brits, I suppose.
When he returned to the bench , after her death and his recuperation from his own wounds , if he got a young woman in front of him,as an accused , his mind strayed, he would explain to her that she had her whole life in front of her. It was as if he was talking to his deceased daughter. I used to find it difficult, because we had suffered similar losses.
Tommy finally retired then died, a lovely man.
Society in Northern Ireland is the lesser for his demise.