Judge says 12 year old would have better computer system than the courts

Judge Patricia Harney

A JUDGE made her views clear on the inadequacies of the computer facilities in the courts, saying that “a 12 year old child would have a better system than we do”.

Judge Patricia Harney was speaking in the District Court in Kilmallock, hearing evidence in a civil case arising out of a traffic accident.

The solicitor for the plaintiff wanted the Judge to view CCTV footage, which had been provided via disc, but the court system couldn’t play it.

Defence legal counsel offered to email the footage from his mobile phone, but the judge said that might present further problems and described the court computer systems as “antediluvian” it was so out of date.

It took a further half hour for court officers to borrow a screen, laptop, and cables so that the court could view the footage.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

The case was taken by driver Katerina O’Connor, of Glenncryle, Abbeyfeale, who sued Katie Hartnett, of Grove, Abbeyfeale, who was driving the other car involved in a collision on St Ita’s Road on February 4 2019.

Giving evidence, Ms O’Connor said she had driven into the town to collect her partner and was making a right-hand turn into a loading bay in order to go in the opposite direction when Ms Hartnett attempted to overtake her and ran into her.

Ms Hartnett denied she was at fault and said that Ms O’Connor had steered left and then turned out again in an attempt to make a u-turn in front of the car Ms Hartnett was driving.

Ms O’Connor, who told the court that she knew Ms Hartnett, said in evidence that she had indicted to turn right when Ms Hartnett drove into her.

“I got out of the car and said ‘Katie, what were you doing?’ I told her we should settle the matter ourselves through the insurance because I was honest and told her I had a glass of wine. She called the guards.”

Ms O’Connor agreed with the defence barrister that she had failed the breathalyser both at the side of the road and in the Garda station. She told the court she was “slightly over the limit. I had one glass of wine at home” and she produced the glass in evidence.

The court heard she had been convicted of drink driving and put off the road for three months and fined as a result of the incident.

Judge Harney said she had listened carefully, viewed the CCTV, and considered all the evidence.

“I believe the onus was on Ms O’Connor. Whether she indicated or not, she should have checked behind her,” the judge said.

The judge dismissed the claim and awarded costs against Ms O’Connor.