Judge kicked and punched in face and body at court
Published 12/12/2015 | 06:40
A judge was repeatedly kicked and punched in the face and body during a sitting of the family law court.
Judge Miriam Walsh was presiding over a case in the Dolphin House Family Law Court in East Essex Street when she was violently attacked shortly before lunchtime yesterday.
Witnesses have described the courtroom as being "chaotic" during the melee.
It is understood that the case involved a couple who were seeking a safety order against their adult son, who has an intellectual disability.
When the safety order was issued, it is understood that the adult son then began to kick Judge Walsh in the face and abdominal region of her body.
A spokesperson for the Courts Service confirmed that the incident occurred and that Judge Walsh, who was appointed to the bench in July, was taken to hospital by ambulance.
"There was a violent incident around lunchtime yesterday in one of the family law courts in Temple Bar," the spokesman said.
"A female judge was injured in the course of the incident and was taken to hospital.
"Security systems are in place in the courts at the venue and were operational. This allowed the gardai to intervene and make an arrest."
It is understood that Judge Walsh was treated for some minor injuries in St James' Hospital before later being released.
The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Susan Denham, left the Four Courts and visited Judge Walsh and her family.
The suspect, who is in his 30s, was arrested and taken to Pearse Street Garda Station, where he remained in custody.
While incidents of a violent nature have occurred in Irish courts in the past, it's believed that this is the first time a judge has been injured.
Separately, senior courts service management and District Court President Judge Rosemary Horgan held a meeting yesterday afternoon with staff.
Chairman of the Council of the Bar of Ireland David Barniville, SC, said the incident was deplorable.
"The physical attack on Judge Walsh today is an affront to justice. It is a new low," Mr Barniville said.