Liam Lawlor ordered to serve another month in jail

Dublin-West TD Liam Lawlor has today been ordered to spend another month in jail after the High Court found he had not complied…

Dublin-West TD Liam Lawlor has today been ordered to spend another month in jail after the High Court found he had not complied with an earlier order to make full disclosure to the Flood tribunal.

Mr Justice Thomas Smyth ordered Lawlor to serve a one month jail sentence in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin from 12 p.m. next Tuesday February 5th. Lawlor must also pay a fine of €12,700 on or before Tuesday March 12th.

Mr Justice Smyth also ruled that should Lawlor default in that payment he will be charged at the court interest rate of 8 per cent per annum from that date and if the sum is not paid by April 9th Lawlor will have to serve a further prison sentence of one calendar month.

He said he hoped now Lawlor would "make further and better discovery on oath" to fulfill the court orders.

Leaving the court after the ruling Lawlor said: "let natural justice take its course". He made no further comment.

Mr John Trainor SC for Lawlor, asked the judge for a stay on the payment pending an appeal. However Mr Justice Smyth refused to grant a stay but said his order was appealable.

Mr Justice Smyth also rejected Mr Trainor’s earlier submission that it would be "inappropriate" for Mr Lawlor to serve a jail sentence before the upcoming general election, as it would result in a "loss of representation for his constituents".

Mr Trainor asked that the sentence be imposed "not before seven days after the next general election", and said Lawlor also wanted to be free to attend a Dáil debate next week when a motion of censure against him will be discussed.

Mr Justice Smyth said although he appreciated Lawlor’s position as an elected member of the Dáil, he was "not exempt from compliance with the law".

He said Lawlor had "compounded his contempt" for the court orders issued against him, and had gone about forwarding relevant documents to the tribunal with "convoluted and Byzantine complexity".

Mr Justice Smyth said he was satisfied Lawlor had failed to comply adequately with the Flood tribunal and said he accepted a submission by Mr Frank Clarke SC for the tribunal, that Lawlor had only produced details of his Liechtenstein bank accounts because he was before the court.

Mr Justice Smyth said Lawlor had been given "every reasonable opportunity to do what he was supposed to do", but only seemed to stir himself when in court and under sanction.

He said Lawlor had produced "too little, too late".

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