Independents4Change TD Clare Daly has criticised a Naas District Court judge for "irrational decisions" and "causing huge problems with regard to the administration of justice and the inefficiency of the court operation in that area."

On 13 October a bench warrant was issued for the arrest of Ms Daly at Naas District Court for a motoring offence which occurred on 1 January.

Ms Daly said she was due to appear in court but when she turned up with her solicitor, she left again when she saw a large number of people waiting for their cases to be heard before hers.

When the judge heard that Ms Daly had left the court, he issued a bench warrant for her arrest with discretion.

Ms Daly told the Dáil that she was back in court today where she had to listen to the "same judge lecturing me about disrespecting his court, not giving me an opportunity to say anything about his irrational decisions but at the same time carrying on."

During tonight's Private Members' debate on the establishment of a judicial appointments commission, the deputy questioned the actions of the judge in Naas and said the judiciary is an area that needs "radical reform".

Recalling her scheduled appearance before Naas District Court, she said her case was listed as number 188 out of 188.

Ms Daly said: "The judge proceeded with the cases for the morning and I watched what had happened in those cases. I instructed a solicitor on this minor driving matter and left the court at lunchtime."

She told the Dáil that later in the day while she was attending a committee hearing, the judge having reached case number 175 "decided to jump to 188, bring the solicitor before the court and ask him where was his client and why was his client not there, even though I had instructed a solicitor, and what reason did I have?

"Of course the reason I had for not being there was that I had been there in the morning. I had watched how this judge had dealt with the cases that were before me, saw cases where people did not turn up on similar charges, did not have a solicitor, and no bench warrant or any proceedings were dealt with. A judgment was simply given in those cases.

"The point I am making is that judges are in an incredibly powerful position. I respect our courts system and I respect that judges have discretion but that discretion has to be exercised proportionally and rationally and when it is not there has to be somebody there that calls that to account.

"While that judge can accuse me without any recall on my part of disrespecting the court, in reality to me, by doing that and issuing a bench warrant in those circumstances, when I clearly wasn't any risk of absconding ... the consequence of his action was that An Garda Síochána, who are actually innocent victims in this situation, were subject to massive negative publicity that they had orchestrated the situation."

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Ms Daly said that a sergeant had to leave his post in Newbridge and spend the day in court in Swords vacating that order at enormous expense to the State.

"I had to go back there today to listen to the same judge lecturing me about disrespecting his court, not giving me an opportunity to say anything about his irrational decisions but at the same time carrying on", she said.

Deputy Daly added: "Our laws at the moment say nobody can do anything about that judge but he is causing huge problems with regard to the administration of justice and the inefficiency of the court operation in that area."

"This is an area which needs radical reform."

Ms Daly also said, "I really just wanted to use that as an example of how utterly ludicrous  some of the behaviour that people we have entrusted to manage our courts is and nobody can do anything about it.

"The saddest thing about that case is that judge is the sitting judge in Naas District Court which means he can stay there for as long as he likes. From looking at him today he has a few years left in him and they could be looking at him for about 12 years.

And the expense to the State of having every day, maybe 100 guards, solicitors, people tied up while he operates his court list like that, and nobody can say anything to him is utterly ludicrous and in radical need of change." 

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