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Dáil hears allegation of "abuse of power" by a judge

Paul Murphy TD asked the Taoiseach about a case he was told about recently.

Image: Shutterstock

A TD HAS claimed in the Dáil that he has been told that a judge, now retired, had abused his position by “pursuing a sexual relationship” with a woman who had sought a protection order in his court.

Deputy Paul Murphy, of People Before Profit, made the statement yesterday during questioning of Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Murphy said he was contacted by the woman last week and she had outlined her allegations.

He said she told him she had appeared before the Judge’s court during an application for a protection order “under immense stress”. The order is a legal measure to prevent further domestic abuse in the home. 

“After the court case the Kerry judge, who is now retired and who I will not name, contacted her. 

“He texted her and called her persistently. He told her she was beautiful and that she should not tell anyone else about the contact he was having with her. He pressured her to meet up with him.

“When she met up with him, out of fear, it became very clear that he was not interested in anything to do with the case but in pursuing a sexual relationship. She was afraid. 

“She managed to cut off all contact with him but it was a very clear abuse of power,” he told the Dáil.

In response the Taoiseach said he did not “have the full context or story behind it”.

“The Garda has dedicated units within counties to deal with situations like this. It is clear to me that there are avenues for people to deal with the abuse of power. 

“One of the issues in the country is that the existing authorities and agencies should deal with this robustly and clearly,” the Taoiseach told the Dáil. 

The Taoiseach was asked again today if he was aware of the emails that were apparently
sent to him about the issue.

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“I’m not actually but last evening I got the copy of the article in The Village, I’m going to study that.

“But as I understand it went through GSOC, and went through the proper (process), according to deputy Murphy in the Dáil. So I’ll examine that and see where it goes from there.”

It is unclear if the complaints have been put to the retired judge or if he has been offered an opportunity to, or has, responded to those allegations.

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