Petitioning `not an impropriety'


Ms Theresa Ahearn, a Tipperary TD, stressed yesterday that there was no "impropriety of any description" in representations she had made or actions-she had taken about a case in which a man had been convicted of dangerous driving and having no insurance.

She said the practice of petitioning the Minister for Justice to alter or remit sentences was a long and well-established principle of this democracy and legal system.

Ms Ahearn, who was replying to remarks made by Judge Michael Patwell in Cahir District Court last week about the non-execution of warrants for arrest issued by him, said: "It may well be that the petitioning procedures should be reviewed and I have no quarrel with Judge Patwell criticising the system, but I do reject and repudiate remarks that attribute either an implied threat by me to the gardai or interference with either the judge or the courts."

She said no threat was implied or otherwise to the gardai "to back off from arresting a man" for whom warrants had been issued. "Neither was there any attack by me on the authority of judges or courts."