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Over 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for a judge to resign

Judge Martin Nolan this week gave a suspended sentence to a man found with 7,000 indecent images of children, sparking outrage, but a legal professional called the petition “ridiculous”.

Image: Photocall Ireland

AN ONLINE PETITION calling for the resignation of a judge has attracted over 2,000 signatures.

Judge Martin Nolan this week handed down a suspended sentence to a former civil servant who was found to have over 7,000 indecent images of children on his computer.

That sentence sparked outrage among some people online, leading to a surge in signatures on the petition, which was started over a year ago.

Nolan’s decisions, particularly in the arena of sexual crime, have made headlines. He has previously given suspended sentences to a man who sexually assaulted his neighbour while her son lay in bed beside her.

He also suspended a four year sentence to a man who sexually assaulted an 18-year-old on condition he pay a €15,000 compensation to his victim.

Nolan’s sentencing has been contrasted with the six year term he handed to food importer Paul Begley, who was found guilty of not paying tax to the value of €1.6 million on garlic.

However, one legal professional, who did not wish to be named, called the petition “ridiculous”.

“Judges cannot do their jobs in fear of a public backlash on every decision.

The constitution guarantees judiciary independence and there are ways for the state to appeal the leniency of a sentence, should they see fit.

“Judges have to be independent for the justice system to work.”

Read: Judges happy that their concerns are ‘fully understood’

Read: Shatter row: Judges’ group outlines concerns for judiciary independence

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