General election candidate fined for failing to make electoral return

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla failed to be elected to Cork South–Central in 2011

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla  failed in his bid to be elected to Cork City Council in the 2011 local elections.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla failed in his bid to be elected to Cork City Council in the 2011 local elections.

 

OLIVIA KELLEHER

A general election candidate who failed to make a prescribed electoral return has been fined €300 at Cork District Court with leave to appeal his conviction to the High Court.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla of Ocht Cabhsa, Beamount, Baile an Teampaill, Cork failed in his bid to be elected to Cork South-Central in the 2011 elections.

Jacqueline Moore, Executive Officer in the Standards of Public Office Commission, told Judge Olan Kelleher that she was notified of Mr Ó Cadhla’s unsuccessful candidacy bid. She said Mr Ó Cadhla failed to make a statutory return and that the relevant documentation was not filed.

Gardaí gave evidence of serving electoral documents to Mr Ó Cadhla on October 6th, 2011. Mr Ó Cadhla requested that the documents be served in his native tongue of Irish and the documents were served as gaeilge on October 23rd, 2011. Mr Ó Cadhla said he would not be returning the documents.

Mr Ó Cadhla was subsequently cautioned in relation to his failure to file electoral documents. He spoke to the garda in Irish and as a non-Irish speaker the serving officer was unable to understand him.

Mr Ó Cadhla, who is a spokesman for the People’s Convention in Cork, said he failed to make an electoral return arising out of constitutional issues. He said the process favoured “private clubs”. He said his constitutional rights were being denied and that he was being discriminated against.

He asked Judge Kelleher to refer the matter to the High Court saying that “Bunreacht na hEireann” was being disregarded.

Judge Kelleher said Mr Ó Cadhla had the right to appeal the case, but that he would be deciding on the matter to hand. He convicted Mr Ó Cadhla for failing to file the prescribed electoral return and fined him €300 giving him three months to pay the fine.

Mr Ó Cadhla said he would be refusing to pay the fine.