Limerick judge issues 65 arrest warrants in one day 

Judge Carol Anne Coolican

A JUDGE issued 65 arrest warrants in a Limerick court last Friday for people who didn’t turn up in court on non-criminal matters.

Judge Carol Anne Coolican issued the warrants for people who had failed to pay fines or obey court orders on paying maintenance.

They did not include arrest warrants issued for people who did not appear in court to answer serious criminal charges.

Because they did not present themselves before the District Court sitting in Kilmallock, or instruct a solicitor to act on their behalf, Judge Coolican said she was left with no option but to issue warrants for their arrest.

This means that Gardaí will have to go to the address on record for each person and arrest them or make arrangements for them to present themselves either at the courthouse or the Garda station. They will then have to explain why they did not pay the fine or maintenance as ordered and why they did not turn up in court in the first place.

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Many of the sums involved are relatively small and the offences do not constitute criminal offences. But once someone fails to appear before the judge and a warrant is issued, it becomes a matter for Gardaí to deal with.

Not appearing in court when summonsed constitutes an offence of being in contempt of court.

Garda sources say that dealing with the bench warrants is extremely frustrating.