A JUDGE was yesterday forced to retreat from his bench after a 79-year-old disabled grandmother tried to perform a citizen's arrest on him in court.
The drama unfolded at Ennis District Court as grandmother-of-six Margaretta D'Arcy, dressed in a Guantanamo-style orange jumpsuit, evaded court security and tried to complete the citizen's arrest on Judge Patrick Durcan.
Ms D'Arcy declared: "I am making a citizen's arrest on you Patrick Durcan for making Irish people active allies and participation on illegal wars."
The member of the Arts Council-funded group Aosdana was only two metres from Judge Durcan's bench before she was intercepted by two gardai as Judge Durcan withdrew from the court into chambers, resulting in a short adjournment.
Ms D'Arcy -- who requires a Rollator or Zimmerframe with wheels to get around -- was before the court relating to an unauthorised incursion on Shannon airfield in October 7 of last year.
Previously the court was told that D'Arcy and Niall Farrell -- who wasn't in court yesterday -- had placed the lives of those on board incoming flights in danger by placing themselves on the runway.
Judgment in the case was adjourned until yesterday and Judge Durcan returned to the bench shortly after the forced adjournment to convict Ms D'Arcy of Bridget's Place, Woodquay, Galway, and Farrell (60) of Ballynacloghy, Maree, Oranmore, Co Galway, of the illegal incursion.
Imposing three-month suspended jail terms on the two, Judge Durcan said the two "had put their own lives and the lives of others in danger".
Judge Durcan asked Ms D'Arcy had she anything to say about her circumstances before imposing sentence, and Ms D'Arcy said: "I don't mind going to jail."