Judge calls woman a 'tinker'


ATHLONE DISTRICT COURT:A judge called a woman a “tinker” and said she needed to be “controlled in some way”. Judge Séamus Hughes was speaking in Athlone District Court yesterday during a case involving a woman charged with smashing another woman in the face with a pint glass last year.

“What sort of person are you?” Judge Hughes asked Catherine Joyce (23), Battery Heights, Athlone. “The only word I can think of is tinker and I don’t use this with aspersions on anyone else.”

Gardaí had been called to deal with an assault on Georgina Barker in a nightclub in Athlone on October 29th, 2011, said Garda Insp Aidan Minnock. “Oh, very ladylike,” Judge Hughes responded.

Brian O’Brien, defending, said his client had €700 in court for compensation. “It was an expensive night out for you,” said the judge, as he sentenced her to two months in prison, suspended for two years. “She has to be controlled in some form or another,” he added.

Judge Hughes has caused controversy during previous court cases, saying last September that Travellers were “like Neanderthal men abiding by the ‘laws of the jungle’”. In another case he sentenced a man to climb Croagh Patrick after he verbally abused a garda.