Tuesday 20 March 2018

Clare Daly says she will 'sort out' bench warrant

Independent TD Clare Daly. Photo: Tom Burke
Independent TD Clare Daly. Photo: Tom Burke

Nicola Anderson and Henry Bauress

A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of Clare Daly - but the Independent TD has insisted the matter will be resolved.

Judge Desmond Zaidan issued the warrant at Naas District Court after Ms Daly was not present to hear a charge of speeding being brought against her. Ms Daly, who originally hails from Newbridge but has an address in Swords, was present at the morning sitting of the court and asked solicitor Cairbre Finan to represent her when her case came up.

She was the last on a list of 188 cases, of which over 120 were for speeding.

The Independents4Change TD is charged with travelling at 59kmh in a 50kmh zone at Ballymany, Newbridge, Co Kildare, on New Year's Day.

When her case was called in the afternoon, Mr Finan said his client had been at the court earlier in the morning and chose to leave.

Judge Desmond Zaidan said the defendant had to be present in court or he would issue a bench warrant for her arrest.

The judge asked what Ms Daly did. "She tells me she is a TD," Mr Finan said.


Judge Zaidan said she should know better, because they make the law. He said it was "total disrespect for this court" and "an insult" for her to leave. Mr Finan said no disrespect was intended.

Judge Zaidan said that Ms Daly should have asked the court to leave. "If she has no respect for me as a human being… have a little respect for the office I hold," he added.

Mr Finan asked that the case be adjourned for one week and that a bench warrant not be issued.

Judge Zaidan said he did not adjourn cases in the absence of the defendant when they are legally represented, to protect everyone, including the lawyers and gardaí.

He then issued the bench warrant with discretion and adjourned the matter until November 30.

Speaking after an Agricultural committee meeting, Ms Daly said she had received the summons for motoring offences "out of the blue" last week.

She said she left the court because she was anxious to attend the committee meeting, which was discussing the Horse Racing Ireland affair.

However, she stressed that a solicitor had remained to represent her on her behalf.

"I'll have to go again. We'll sort that out," she said.

Irish Independent

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