Judge describes woman’s claim of being in humanist marriage as ‘mumbo jumbo’

Mother of nine claimed name she gave garda when stopped was the one she took from husband after humanist marriage

Judge Patrick Durcan jailed the defendant and banned her from driving for six years after hearing she  was driving without insurance and already disqualified from driving  when stopped by a garda.

Judge Patrick Durcan jailed the defendant and banned her from driving for six years after hearing she was driving without insurance and already disqualified from driving when stopped by a garda.

 

A judge has described a Co Clare woman’s humanist marriage as “mumbo jumbo” and “for the fairies” stating that she didn’t get married at all four years ago.

At Killaloe District Court on Tuesday, Judge Patrick Durcan made his comment when convicting mother of nine, Patricia McLeish (41) of Shanbally, Craughwell, Co Galway of giving a Garda a false name when she was stopped at the side of the road by Det Garda John Jenks on March 6th last at Bridgetown, Co Clare.

Jennifer Donovan, solicitor defending, said that her client now goes by the name of Patricia Fogarty after taking her new husband’s surname when they married at a humanist ceremony four years ago.

“She presently goes by the Fogarty name and uses the name of Fogarty but I can’t give you any documentation to show that,” she said.

In reply, Judge Durcan said: “Because basically that is not her name.”

Ms Donovan said that there was no deliberate attempt by her client to mislead Det Garda Jenks on March 6th when she said her name was Patricia Fogarty.

“It isn’t a name she plucked out of the air. Fogarty is a name she goes by. Her children’s birth certificates have Fogarty on it,” she said.

However, Judge Durcan said: “The law provides procedures for entering into marriage which is something that imposes civil responsibility and imposes civil obligations. That is what marriage is and your client wasn’t married four years ago.”

First husband

He added: “Let us go by legal principles here - her maiden name is Haskett, her first husband was McLeish - her only husband.”

The solicitor said said her client had instructed her that she was married in a humanist ceremony four years ago.

Judge Durcan said that the defendant “instructs you to come in here with this cock and bull story about being married, that is daft and for the fairies”.

Ms Donovan said that her client has a voting card with the name Fogarty on it.

In reply, Judge Durcan said: “Your client has been living in an unreal world.”

Judge Durcan jailed the defendant and banned her from driving for six years after hearing that Ms McLeish (Fogarty) was driving without insurance and already disqualified on the date - her eighth time to be detected driving without insurance.

Ms Donovan said that her client and Mr Fogarty opened a restaurant business in 2012 which failed. Her client simply couldn’t afford to purchase insurance.

Ms Donovan said their situation worsened when their family home was repossessed. “She and her partner tried to buy it back and her brother unfortunately outbid her and bought it out from under them so there is a split there in the family and there is just not help there.”