Clare Daly accuses judge of ‘irrational decision’

Independent TD claims judge is creating ‘huge problems’ in justice administration

Clare Daly: a bench warrant was issued for her arrest at Naas District Court for an alleged motoring offence earlier in October. On Wednesday, she said, “I had to return to Naas District Court today to listen to the same judge lecturing me about disrespecting his court without giving me an opportunity to say anything about his irrational decision.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Clare Daly: a bench warrant was issued for her arrest at Naas District Court for an alleged motoring offence earlier in October. On Wednesday, she said, “I had to return to Naas District Court today to listen to the same judge lecturing me about disrespecting his court without giving me an opportunity to say anything about his irrational decision.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Independent TD Clare Daly has accused a Kildare judge of making an “irrational decision’’ and creating “huge problems’’ regarding the administration of justice.

Earlier this month, a bench warrant was issued for Ms Daly’s arrest at Naas District Court for an alleged motoring offence.

Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday night, she said she turned up in court with her solicitor but left when she saw a large number of people waiting for their cases to be heard before hers.

She said she returned to court on Wednesday.

“The judge could accuse me, without any recourse on my part of disrespecting the court,’’ she said. “By doing that and issuing a bench warrant in those circumstances, when I clearly was not at risk of absconding . . . the case not even listed for a hearing . . . and he dealt with other cases earlier without issuing a bench warrant against those who were not there or did not have a solicitor . . .”

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She added: “I had to return to Naas District Court today to listen to the same judge lecturing me about disrespecting his court without giving me an opportunity to say anything about his irrational decision.

“Our laws provide that nobody can do anything about that judge but he is causing huge problems with regard to the administration of justice given the inefficiency of the court sittings in his district. This needs to be radically reformed.’’

Ms Daly said even though the court was scheduled to begin at 10.30am, the judge regularly appeared much later than that.

The Independent TD made her remarks during a debate on a Fianna Fáil Private Member’s Bill proposing the setting-up of a judicial commission to recommend suitable appointees to the bench to government.