Lay litigant attempts citizen’s arrest on DPP solicitor in court

Judge said notice of appeal filed by Stephen Manning, from Co Mayo, ‘a bit gobbledygook’

Lay litigant Stephen Manning attempted to arrest a solicitor from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in  the Court of Appeal on Friday. File photograph:  Collins Courts.

Lay litigant Stephen Manning attempted to arrest a solicitor from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Court of Appeal on Friday. File photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A lay litigant attempted to arrest a solicitor from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Court of Appeal on Friday.

Stephen Manning, a candidate in the 2016 general election, had last month attempted to effect a citizen’s arrest on Mr Justice Michael MacGrath, a DPP solicitor and a barrister during judicial review proceedings he had brought in the High Court.

Mr Manning, with addresses in Co Mayo, is now seeking to appeal certain findings by Mr Justice McGrath made in the judicial review proceedings.

During case management procedures in the Court of Appeal on Friday, Mr Manning claimed the title of his proceedings — Stephen Manning versus a Judge of the Circuit Court — had been “unlawfully changed”.

He said his judicial review proceedings had been plagued with difficulties over 26 hearings in the High Court. He made various accusations about fraud and refused to sit down when asked to do so by the President of the Court of Appeal, Mr Justice George Birmingham.

Accompany

After the court had risen for lunch, Mr Manning approached a solicitor from the DPP’s office and told him he wished to effect a citizen’s arrest. He placed his hand on the solicitor’s shoulder and asked that he accompany him to a garda station. The solicitor did not respond.

Members of An Garda Síochána, who were present in court at the time, informed Mr Manning that they would not be taking anybody into custody. Mr Manning said he would be taking the matter “to the Oireachtas”.

During the case management procedure, Mr Justice Birmingham told Mr Manning that his 42-page notice of appeal was “somewhat lacking in focus”, and was “a bit gobbledygook”.

He told Mr Manning to precisely identify the portions of the High Court judgment and order that he wished to appeal, and then file legal submissions. At that point, he said the case could be given a date for hearing.