James Tweed OBE was an amazing person. He was born in 1926, graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 1948 with Honours as a Bachelor of Arts in Legal and Political Science and as Bachelor of Law. In 1951 he was awarded his Masters Degree, admitted as a solicitor and joined the family firm of O’Rorke, McDonald and Tweed. In 1959 James became a partner.
1977 saw James sworn in as a resident magistrate in Belfast and in 1979 he was appointed a deputy county court judge. During this time he was instrumental in developing the important new N. I. Children’s Order.
James retired in 1997 from his posts as Senior Resident Magistrate and Secretary of the Resident Magistrates’ Association. James was awarded an OBE this year for his service to the judiciary.
James was elected Vice-President of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association.
1994 was the year he was appointed to the Northern Ireland Criminal Justice Consultative Group and also served on the Area Child Protection Committee.
James Tweed was active in the training and appointment of lay magistrates, prior to his retirement.
His interests outside his professional commitments included being President of the Board of Governors of Coleraine Academical Institution and of Carncastle Primary School.
His sporting interests included rugby for Coleraine Inst, Dublin Universities and Larne Rugby Club, tennis at Muckamore Tennis Club and of course golf at Cairndhu Golf Club.
As a devoted member of Cairncastle Presbyterian Church James served as an elder, as treasurer for many years and as clerk of session. In the wider church he was a member of the Judicial Commission, Church and Government Committee, General Board and the Moderator’s Advisory Committee of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
Rotary International was also a great interest to James being in his time President of Larne Rotary, district secretary and District Governor of Rotary in Ireland.
As District Governor, in the1970s he was instrumental in starting up Probus Clubs in Ireland including Larne (1973).
In 1997 James was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Despite this he led a full and active life.
He enjoyed PROBUS and was a regular attendee at the Larne meetings. Sadly he was called away in December 2014.
Mrs Tweed, Audrey, predeceased James by a few years, a sore blow after so many years of a loving marriage. His deep and sincere faith helped him through this difficult time.
James Scott Tweed MA, LLB, OBE will be remembered as a real gentleman who cared for the community and used his skills and influence for the greater good.
He was laid to rest on the 24th December 2014. The large number of mourners at his funeral indicated the esteem in which he was held by the community.
Michael Lynch. Hon sec. Probus Club of Larne