Deale, Kenneth Edwin Lee (1907–74), barrister, judge, and author, was born 17 January 1907, third son of four children of Edwin Lee Deale (d. 1948), stationer and merchant, of 11 Effra Road, Rathmines, Dublin, and Mary (‘Minnie Hill’) Deale (née Martin; d. 1939) of Co. Kerry. The family initially lived at 9 Kimmage Road, Dublin, though Deale spent most of his early life at 21 Grosvenor Place, Rathmines, Dublin. His older brother was Edgar Martin Deale (qv).
Born a methodist, he was educated at Christ Church Cathedral Grammar School (1917–19) and at Wesley College, Dublin (1919–21). On leaving school he worked in insurance in Dublin and London (1921–37), where he developed an expertise in the law governing workers’ compensation. He became active in the Labour party during the 1930s when he unsuccessfully encouraged insurance officials to form a trade union or professional association. While studying part-time at the King's Inns he won gold medals in oratory and was auditor of the law students debating society before being called to the bar (1935). He took silk on 3 July 1950 and was made a temporary circuit court judge by the inter-party government in 1951. The new Fianna Fáil government later that year failed to follow precedent and did not make his appointment permanent; the return of an inter-party government in 1954 led to his permanent appointment in 1955. In 1974 he succeeded Denis Pringle (qv) on the high court bench but died within the year. His own replacement on the bench was Mr Justice Liam Hamilton (qv), another Labour party activist and later chief justice.
In addition to writing legal works that included High court practice and procedure (1941), The landlord and tenant acts 1931 and 1943 (1953), Memorable Irish trials (1960), The law of landlord and tenant in Ireland (1967), and Beyond any reasonable doubt (1971), Deale was a playwright under the pseudonym ‘Paul Martin’. He wrote about 150 scripts for Radio Éireann from 1941, and in the late 1950s and 1960s wrote several crime dramas for BBC radio, including ‘The alibi’ (1957) and ‘The case of the damaged chocolates’ (1959). ‘The forgers’ was broadcast by Radio Éireann (1963), and in February 1966 ‘The conspiracy’ ran at the Abbey Theatre for six weeks. He also translated works from French into English for radio. He died an atheist, on 21 October 1974 at home in Co. Wicklow, leaving estate valued at £41,904.
He married first (June 1936), in Holyhead, Wales, Sarah Byrne (d. 1962), art teacher, of Kilternan, Co. Dublin. They had one son, Julian, author of Circuit court practice and procedure in the Republic of Ireland (1989), and lived at 47 Grosvenor Square, Dublin (1937–40), on their return from London. They later lived at 27 Sydney Parade Avenue, Dublin, before the couple separated in 1960. Deale married secondly (December 1962) Cora Carolan (d. 1984), and lived at Kilross, Dalkey, before moving to Narrow Acre, Roundwood, Co. Wicklow.