Thursday 23 November 2017

Judge McCartan steps down after 19 years

Pat McCartan was a TD before becoming a judge
Pat McCartan was a TD before becoming a judge

Shane Phelan and Alison O'Riordan

A leading Circuit Court judge who presided over the trial of three former Anglo Irish Bank officials has retired.

Judge Patrick McCartan (63) stepped down earlier this month after 19 years on the bench, but news of his departure has just emerged.

He presided over a number of high-profile trials, including that of former Anglo officials Tiarnan O'Mahoney, Bernard Daly and Aoife Maguire, over an alleged conspiracy to hide accounts from the Revenue Commissioners.

Both Mr O'Mahoney and Mr Daly would later have their convictions quashed by the Court of Appeal. Mr O'Mahoney is to be retried next year.

Ms Maguire later had an 18-month sentence halved and was released from prison.

Judge McCartan also presided over the trial of former solicitor Thomas Byrne, who was jailed for 12 years for fraud.

Prior to becoming a judge, Wexford-born Mr McCartan was best known as a criminal defence solicitor and later as a councillor and TD for the Workers Party and Democratic Left.

He was a founding partner of the firm McCartan & Hogan Solicitors.

In politics, his contemporaries in the Workers' Party included Pat Rabbitte, Liz McManus and Eamonn Gilmore.

He was elected to Dublin City Council in 1985 and to the Dáil two years later.

Following the split in the party in 1992, he joined Democratic Left alongside Proinsias De Rossa.

He failed to get elected in the subsequent General Election, but remained a councillor and focused on his career as a solicitor.

In 1997 he was appointed to the Circuit Court by the John Bruton-led Rainbow coalition of Fine Gael, Labour and the Democratic Left.

He was only the second solicitor to be elevated to the court and spent most of his time on the bench dealing with criminal trials.

Earlier this year, a defendant in his court, who was about to be sentenced, grabbed a glass and attempted to throw it at him.

However, the man was stopped from doing so after being tackled by prison officers and a garda.

The judge later commended those who intervened for the speed with which they came to his assistance.

Last April, he recused himself from presiding over the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick, which is due to begin in three weeks' time.

As a judge Patrick McCartan presided chiefly over criminal trials at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Irish Independent

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