A SOLICITOR has claimed that a judge abused him by calling him a "canting dilettante" during his bid to get bail for a client, the High Court was told yesterday, when a successful application was made to have the client released from prison.
Dublin solicitor Donal Quigley said District Judge John Coughlan (pictured) made the remark in Cloverhill District Court on Thursday and also told him that he "should look the phrase up" if he didn't know what it meant.
Mr Quigley was making an application for bail for a teenage Algerian client, who had been in custody since September 28 on charges of failing to produce an identity document and failing to turn up in court, having previously been granted bail on public order and assault charges. He is also accused of failing to produce identity documents on another date.
The solicitor said in a affidavit to the High Court that the youth had been living in a HSE juvenile care home in Cork last year and that in January he was arrested in Dublin city on the public order and other charges. Mr Quigley was assigned to represent him and the youth was released on bail on January 30.
He failed to turn up for a remand hearing and seven months later he was again arrested in Dublin.
The matter came before Judge Coughlan on Thursday. The judge asked the solicitor what was the accused's status here and when Mr Quigley replied that he did not have any status, the judge said "well he shouldn't be here", according to Mr Quigley.
The judge remanded the youth in custody for two weeks "and proceeded to abuse me by calling me a 'canting dilettante' and stated I was wasting court time and added that I should look the phrase up if I didn't know what it meant," said Mr Quigley.
He added that because of the judge's "complete failure" to permit his bail application, he brought an application to the High Court to have his client released.
Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley ordered the youth's release after she was told the State was not opposing the application.