Friday 30 September 2016

'No pressure put on official' over judge remarks

Published 27/11/2015 | 02:30

The Department of Justice has denied pressure was put on a senior official to apologise to the judiciary for his remarks
The Department of Justice has denied pressure was put on a senior official to apologise to the judiciary for his remarks

The Department of Justice has denied pressure was put on a senior official to apologise to the judiciary after he claimed judges were not treating burglary as a serious crime.

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Jimmy Martin, a member of the department's management team, made the remarks at a meeting of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) earlier this month.

He cited a case where a burglary suspect was given bail up to seven times in the course of a month.

However, within days he wrote a letter of apology to the President of the District Court, Judge Rosemary Horgan.

Mr Martin's climbdown gave rise to speculation that he had been put under pressure.

However, the department's acting secretary general, Noel Waters, denied this in a letter to the PAC. "I am happy to clarify that there is no question whatsoever of the official in question being taken to task by the department," he said.

Mr Waters said Mr Martin's letter was written "entirely of his own volition" and there had been "no prior contact from the courts".

Irish Independent

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