Friday 31 October 2014

Judge called Clare Daly a 'bitch', claims whistleblower

Published 30/03/2014 | 02:30

Clare Daly (inset) and whistleblower John Wilson
Clare Daly TD

A JUDGE called independent TD Clare Daly a "bitch" for publicly naming other members of the judiciary who had penalty points quashed, according to whistleblower John Wilson.

Mr Wilson claimed the judge said Ms Daly's arrest for suspected drink driving last year was "karma" for using Dail privilege to name judges and other well-known people who had points wiped.

It was during the same conversation that the retired garda alleges he was asked to withdraw allegations he made about a senior member of the force who terminated penalty points.

The judge was also critical of whistleblower, Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe, according to Mr Wilson.

The claims were made in a statement to gardai last year and are also being examined by both the Department of Justice and the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.

In a redacted version of the statement, seen by the Sunday Independent, Mr Wilson states: "(The judge) was also very critical of the fact that I had gone to Clare Daly TD whom he described as a bitch and he stated that the fact that she had been arrested for drunk driving was karma."

Mr Wilson gave details of quashed penalty points to Ms Daly and she used the Dail chamber to name high-profile people, including judges, who had points wiped.

Ms Daly was stopped by gardai on the South Circular Road in Dublin after taking a wrong turn in February last year. She admitted to gardai that she had drunk one hot whiskey for a cold at a constituent's home in North Co Dublin before driving home.

She claims she was then handcuffed and arrested after failing a breathalyser test.

The Dublin politician was subsequently cleared of drink driving, and the leaking of her arrest to the media is currently the subject of a GSOC investigation.

In his statement, Mr Wilson claims he met the judge before Ms Daly was cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Sunday Independent understands that Mr Wilson made Ms Daly fully aware of the conversation soon after it took place.

The meeting is currently the subject of a GSOC inquiry but it is unclear if the body has the power to investigate the issue.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter has also been made aware of the conversation and is "seeking legal advice in relation to the complaint," according to a spokesman.

Mr Wilson claims the judge tried to "pervert the course of justice" by asking him to drop his claims, according to his statement.

Mr Wilson and Sgt McCabe also made a complaint to a judicial body about the conversation last year.

The Sunday Independent understands the judge responded to the claims via his solicitors and dismissed Mr Wilson's claims as "vexatious and unsubstantiated allegations and mixes comment with falsehood".

The legal correspondence added: "At no stage did our client ever suggest to you or anyone else to withdraw a criminal complaint against anyone and the accusation is categorically denied."

Sunday Independent

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