Retired choose James O’Connor won’t be investigated over claims made in Dáil that he preyed on susceptible girl

Retired choose James O’Connor won’t be investigated over claims made in Dáil that he preyed on susceptible girl
Retired choose James O’Connor won’t be investigated over claims made in Dáil that he preyed on susceptible girl

The judicial watchdog has mentioned it won’t examine retired choose James O’Connor, regardless of claims made within the Dáil that he “abused his place” to pursue a susceptible girl for a sexual relationship.

n correspondence seen by the Irish Unbiased, the Judicial Council mentioned it couldn’t cope with a grievance as a result of he ceased to be a choose previous to its investigative powers commencing.

The previous district courtroom choose, who was primarily based in Kerry, retired in 2018 after his software to remain on the bench for an additional 12 months was refused. Allegations towards him have been outlined within the Dáil final 12 months by Individuals Earlier than Revenue TD Paul Murphy and have been raised once more yesterday.

Mr Murphy claimed the choose bought the telephone variety of a lady who appeared earlier than him in a household regulation matter after which used it to pursue her “in a method that made her scared”.

He additionally mentioned a second girl, whom he referred to as Ms B, had claimed Mr O’Connor lunged at her in a courthouse.

The primary girl complained to gardaí, but it surely was decided no crime had occurred. The Garda Ombudsman later discovered no proof of gardaí mishandling her grievance.

Mr O’Connor has but to touch upon the claims.

After the matter was raised by Mr Murphy, the Judicial Council was given powers to research complaints of judges’ misconduct.

Nonetheless, in a letter to the primary girl, it mentioned it couldn’t admit a grievance from her for various causes.

These included that, by regulation, it might solely think about incidents of alleged judicial misconduct on or after October 3 this 12 months. Second, it mentioned the complaints system didn’t apply if the particular person complained of was not a serving choose on the time the grievance was made.

The girl had requested that her grievance be thought-about, however the boundaries imposed on the council by laws, however was instructed there was “completely no foundation” on which the council’s judicial conduct committee might “waive or ignore the regulation in any circumstances, whatever the nature of any grievance”.

Talking within the Dáil yesterday, Mr Murphy mentioned the previous choose had “used his place to disgustingly prey upon susceptible ladies who have been earlier than him on a number of events”.

He mentioned one of many victims had been doing all the pieces potential “to get justice”, however the Judicial Council instructed her it couldn’t cope with her grievance.

“She has tried many times to get the gardaí to take this critically. What’s she to do? What motion is being taken by the Authorities to make sure this kind of factor can’t occur once more?” Mr Murphy requested.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin mentioned it was official for Mr Murphy to lift the case, as a result of what had allegedly occurred was “not passable in any form or kind”.

However Mr Martin added that the powers of the Judicial Council weren’t retrospective when it comes to judges who had retired. He additionally mentioned the Authorities couldn’t intrude in operational garda selections.

He mentioned he hoped the “new constructions” would “be certain that there’s a very clear pathway for folks to hunt to have complaints raised with the Judicial Council and that they’d be adjudicated on in a well timed and efficient method”.

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