Judge accuses Joe Duffy and ‘media panjandrums’ of attacking courts

Ennis District Court judge criticises media as he hands down three-month jail term

A judge has trained his sights on broadcaster Joe Duffy. Photograph: Alan Betson

A judge has trained his sights on broadcaster Joe Duffy. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

A District Court judge has accused RTÉ’s Joe Duffy “and all the great panjandrums of the media” of attacking the courts for not sentencing people.

At Ennis District Court on Friday, Judge Patrick Durcan criticised radio talk show hosts for the second time in 10 days when sentencing a man to a three-month jail term for a number of thefts.

Ivan Plechko (32) of Lakeside Close, Mountshannon, pleaded guilty to four separate thefts carried out over two days from shops in Ennis, with the last three offences carried out on Thursday, June 22nd.

Before jailing Plechko, Judge Durcan said legislators have introduced schemes where if anyone does anything, “there are a whole pile of trampolines to help people who offend against society”.

He said: “Some of this is crazy.”

He went on: “And then you listen to Mr Duffy and all the great panjandrums of the media and they are attacking the courts for not sentencing people.”

A panjandrum is defined as someone with self-importance or claims to have a great deal of authority and influence.

Last week, Judge Durcan accused radio talk show hosts of whipping up public opinion on a daily basis that courts are not doing enough in dealing with repeat burglary offenders.

Before jailing John Brennan (46) of Pella Road, Kilrush, for six months for stealing a child’s money box containing €50 in coins, Judge Durcan said: “There is a constant outcry by the people who man the media in this country and who man the talk shows and who whip up public opinion on a daily basis that the courts aren’t doing enough in relation to matters of this nature.”