Protestor issues High Court challenge to Limerick judge

Judge Marian O'Leary


Judge Marian O’Leary

“I’LL see you in the High Court”, was the response made by a man accused of public order offences when a Limerick judge refused to show him her identification as a member of the judiciary.

In a bizarre exchange during Wednesday’s sitting of the District Court, Joe Doocey (50) of Knocksbarrett, Ballina, Mayo challenged the legal status of his prosecution for alleged public order offences at Limerick Court last year.

It is alleged that Mr Doocey, along with Brian McCarthy (47) of Hillview, Knocksheragh, Tier Na Boul, Killarney, engaged in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour in a public place on May 6 last year.

Both men are also charged with assaulting or obstructing a peace officer on the same date.

Mr Doocey is further charged with failure to comply with a direction of member of An Garda Síochána.

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The incident’s are alleged to have taken place at Limerick Court house during a hearing of 170 repossession cases before Limerick County Registrar Pat Wallace.

Mr Wallace was forced to retreat from the bench on two occasions before eventually abandoning proceedings when protestors entered the courtroom.

As Mr McCarthy’s case was called, he handed Judge Marian O’Leary a written submission on the proceedings and sought full disclosure of all Garda evidence in relation to the allegations.

Sergeant Donal Cronin said that the State would comply with the order within eight weeks.

However, Mr Doocey then sought to have the case struck out claiming that the court and the State were in breach of European legislation on Human Rights and that it was illegal for Gardaí to leave the charges “hanging over me for 12 months”.

“These are false charges and there is no merit to them”, he said.

After Judge O’Leary refused to strike out the charges, Mr Doocey challenged the legal standing of the DPP prosecuting through a Garda Sergeant and citied national cases and incidents of alleged mismanagement.

Sgt Cronin said that as this was the first date the case was before the court, he would “not be cross examined by the accused as there were provisions in place for court procedures”.

Mr Doocey then turned his attention towards Judge O’Leary and accused her of breaking the law and breaching EU legislation.

“Where is your ID, I want to see it”, he demanded.

“I’ll see you in the High Court”, Mr Doocey told Judge O’Leary as he left the court.

Both cases were adjourned to next July for the accused men to enter a plea or set a date for hearing.