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09 March 2022

Passing of Heather Semple

Dear Colleague

It is with great sadness that I must let you know that our dear friend and colleague, Heather Semple, passed away this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband, Geoff, and her daughters Jenna and Katie at this desperately sad time.

As colleagues will be aware, Heather was diagnosed with a very serious medical condition just before Christmas. Mercifully, she was able to spend Christmas at home with her family before starting on an intensive course of treatment. Unfortunately, her health deteriorated very rapidly and she was admitted to hospital earlier this week. This morning we received the dreadful news that Heather had passed away.

Heather Semple personified all that is good about our Society. As the Society’s Librarian, and more recently as Head of the Library and Information Service, she gave over 32 years devoted service to the Solicitor profession in Northern Ireland. Her passion for her work was evident to everyone who encountered her, whether solicitors, trainees, Judges and staff. She was a friend to everyone and was, in many ways, the best of us.

The Society’s Library will close as a mark of respect until after Heather’s funeral.

DAVID A LAVERY CB

Chief Executive

9 March 2022



Comments

The NIYSA Committee is saddened to hear of Heather''s passing. Heather was of so much value to all of the Society''s Members but in particular to those junior members of the profession as she was always on hand to assist with her wealth of knowledge. We would like to take this opportunity to, on behalf of all of our young members, extend our condolences to Heather''s family at this most difficult time. Natasha Moffett on behalf of the NIYSA Committee

By: Natasha Moffet
I was so shocked and saddened to hear that Heather has died. I first met Heather as an apprentice thirty-two years ago. Over the years since then Heather''s skill and knowledge has helped me on innumerable occasions. No matter how awkward the query Heather was always able to point me in the right direction. She always had such a warm, welcoming smile and time for a chat. It''s hard to believe she has gone. My thoughts and prayers are with her husband, daughters and wider family.

By: Angela Mairead Brady
So very difficult to convey the sense of shock and loss we all feel at the dreadful news of Heather''s passing. Personally, I will always remember her unfailing cheerfulness and helpfulness. She also had a delightfully light but effective touch when it came to persuading me, and others, to produce promised contributions to The Writ or the numerous other publications which she assembled so meticulously. Somehow, whenever, Heather asked for something, and because of the way she asked, people did their best to accommodate her. In life, we all encounter ''drainers'' whose relentless negativity saps our energy and makes us feel low. Fortunately, many others are ''radiators'' whose very presence warms, enlivens and energizes us. Heather, you were a radiator par excellence. We were all so much the richer for knowing you and we are greatly diminished by losing you. We all miss you and will not forget you.

By: Rowan McM White
I wish to express my shock and sorrow at hearing of Heather''s death. She was simply lovely to deal with. Kind, amusing, professional, and always ready to get have a go at even the most obscure research requests. She was a lifeline to Country Solicitors and will be sadly missed. I extend my sincere sympathy to her family friends and colleagues.

By: Cormac Murnion
Deepest sympathy to Heather''s family, friends and colleagues. I think we all remember going to the library for the first time and Heather keeping us right. She was certainly one of the formative figures in many a fledging legal career. May she rest in peace.

By: Louise Teresa Mary Bailey
I am so sorry to learn of Heather''s passing and sincerely pass my condolences to her husband, daughters, family and Law Society colleagues. As all the previous comments state Heather was the epitome of helpfulness to all who used the Library and its services and a great ambassador for the Society. Always a smile and a bit of craic whilst unfailingly being able to assist. She will be sorely missed.

By: Cathal D Gilmore
Heather Cameron (as she then was) and I embarked on our respective careers at around the same time. We both came from mid-Antrim and she was a friendly face in Belfast to the young apprentice that I then was. Long after my days sitting doing research in the old Law Society library assisted by Heather (and Mandy who was then librarian), Heather Semple was my and everyone''s go to for that report or article which had eluded me. It never eluded Heather. Her librarian skills were second to none. More than that though, she was so friendly, enthusiastic and helpful - she was all that is good about the Law Society and the service it provides to members. I will miss her terribly. My sincere condolences to her husband and girls.

By: AC Scott McCarroll
I always looked forward to a meeting with Heather. She was so kind, helpful and had a deep knowledge of her subject. Meetings ended with a catch up about her lovely family and beloved daughters, Jenna and Katie. My thoughts and prayers are with them all at this very sad time. Aine Maxwell

By: Aine Maxwell
I am so very sorry to hear this awful news . Heather was such a fantastic person she really helped me a lot when I was an apprentice and we had such fun at the Law Society Council dinner before Christmas when I sat at her . Such a warm and kind and clever woman . Much love to her family.

By: Lois Alison Sullivan
I am very very sorry to hear about the tragic loss of Heather. I wish her family, friends and colleagues my deepest sympathies at this time. May you find comfort in the pride of the memories you all have together in the difficult days that lie ahead.

By: Gertrude Paula Morrow
I am devastated to learn of Heather''s passing. Not only was she a personal friend, but also a complete professional in her capacity as Librarian. She went above and beyond in assisting any queries I had or documentation I was seeking, and her loss will be keenly felt by all who knew her.

By: William Gary Millar
I am very sorry to hear this. Heather was always pleasant, polite and welcoming when I called to Law Society Library. She was resourceful and efficient and nothing was too much trouble for her. Her quiet presence and smile will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

By: Brian Patrick Scullion
This is very sad and shocking news. Heather was such an asset to the Society and was a fantastic librarian. Sincere condolences to her family and friends.

By: Judith Susan Blair
I am shocked to learn of Heather''s passing and sincerely wish my condolences to her husband, children and family at this tragic time. Heather I will always remember as even from early days as an apprentice solicitor, she was always helpful, kind, knowledgeable, she went the extra mile and always had a smile or sense of fun when I was dealing with her. She was such a dedicated person to her role and the Society and will be sorely missed by everyone and it is a great loss to the profession. My thoughts and prayers are with her family in the difficult days ahead. Diane Coulter

By: M Diane M Coulter
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Heather. She was always helpful and lovely to deal with. She provided invaluable help. She will be very sadly missed

By: Carmel P Ferguson
I was very sorry to hear the news about Heather. She was a great friend to work with in the Law Society. My condolences to her family.

By: Kevin Delaney

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