A JUDGE had to suspend a court sitting after being confronted by a disabled 79-year-old anti-war activist dressed in a Guantanamo-style orange jump suit.
At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan retired to his chambers after Margaretta D'Arcy refused to stand down from a bench in front of him.
Ms D'Arcy was appearing in court yesterday in connection with the alleged interference with the proper use of Shannon Airport last October 7 by going onto the runway without permission.
When the case was called, Ms D'Arcy, of St Bridget's Place, Woodquay, Galway, approached the bench to hear and see the judge properly because of deficient sight and hearing.
She then stood on the bench below Judge Durcan to hear him say that he was going to adjourn the matter to September 11 because her co-accused wasn't in court.
Ms D'Arcy – who requires a frame to walk – said that she wanted the judge to dismiss the summons against her as it is inaccurate. Judge Durcan said: "That is a matter for hearing and not for today."
The judge then asked Ms D'Arcy: "Will you please go down to ground level and stand on the ground for safety reasons?"
Ms D'Arcy refused and replied: "I am going to stand here. We have to see each other as equals. It is the citizens of Ireland that own the courts."
Judge Durcan replied: "You are going to be removed. I am going to suspend the court for two minutes."
As the judge walked out, Ms D'Arcy shouted: "So you don't want a conversation with me around the word 'proper' and the use of the airport as a military airport. Murder! Complicity in murder! Run! Run away and never hear the truth."
Ms D'Arcy then stepped down from the bench with the assistance of two gardai and was applauded by her supporters in court including retired UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday and anti-war activist Dr Ed Horgan.
On returning to court, Judge Durcan said that on the adjourned date he would decide if the case will be heard in the district or the circuit court.