Obituary: Lady Tyre, 54

Tributes have been paid to Lady Tyre, a key figure in legal education reform in Scotland and director of professional legal studies at the University of Edinburgh, who has died aged 54 after a five-month battle with cancer.

Elaine Tyre was born on September 11, 1956, and attended Convent of the Scared Heart Primary School and St Augustine's High School. She received a BA in history and politics from Edinburgh University before completing her LLB. After qualifying in 1981 she worked as a solicitor before joining the university where she taught at LLB and diploma in legal practice.

One of Lady Tyre's greatest achievements was the establishment of the University's Free Legal Advice Centre in 2007. This centre enables diploma students to put their legal knowledge into practice to serve the community. Lady Tyre's vision of offering a part-time diploma over two years was finally realised last year. In 2009 she was also inspired to form a law school choir which would allow more social interaction between staff and students, and their first concert this year raised several hundred pounds for the Free Legal Advice Centre.

Hide Ad

Lady Tyre is survived by her husband of 28 years, the Honourable Lord Tyre, and their children Kirsty, 24, Catriona, 21, and Euan, 18.

Lord Tyre said: "Elaine simply never for a minute accepted that she wasn't going to beat the cancer and that was her position right up to about a week ago. She was incredibly optimistic and did her best to simply carry on living life."

Among the abounding tributes there is a recurring theme of gratefulness for having known her: students and colleagues alike speak of her enthusiasm, her vivacity, her encouragement, her support and her smile.

Senior lecturer Dr Andrew Steven said: "Elaine's defining characteristic was her capacity to love. She loved her family, her friends, her colleagues and her students. And they in turn loved her. Her death so tragically premature has left a large gap in so many people's lives. Yet she has a tangible and enduring legacy in the part-time diploma, the Free Legal Advice Centre and the law school choir to name only a few. The law school was the richer for her presence and is the poorer for her loss."

Alan Barr, director of the legal practice unit said: "She was a vital influence in the developments of the Scottish system only now coming to fruition. In all that Elaine did - and there was so much of it - what shines through was her bottomless kindness. It is a genuine tragedy that future students will not benefit from her influence and her friendship, tempered only by her continuing influence on the lives of so many.

"Elaine's truly enormous workload was leavened with the firm belief that it should also be fun and for me and so many others, without Elaine it will be much less fun."