Wednesday 26 September 2018

Former judge quizzed on sex assault allegation

(stock image)
(stock image)
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A former judge has been questioned by detectives in relation to an allegation of sexual assault.

The retired judge was interviewed under caution by gardaí and a file is expected to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the next few weeks.

An investigation into the matter has been ongoing for several months.

It was launched after a woman made a formal complaint against the man last year. She made a statement alleging inappropriate behaviour of a sexual nature by the former judge.

Independent.ie understands the man against whom the claims have been made was not arrested.

However, he voluntarily presented himself for interview a number of weeks ago.

It is also understood that the woman's version of events is being disputed.

Dealings

The investigation is being conducted by officers from Garda Headquarters.

None of the detectives involved has had any previous dealings with the former judge in the course of their duties.

The Department of Justice is aware of the investigation, but has no role to play in it.

Although the man at the centre of the case is retired, the matter highlights the need for improved mechanisms for dealing with alleged misconduct by members of the judiciary.

An impeachment procedure does exist, but it has never been used. It requires resolutions to be passed by the Dáil and the Seanad.

Various proposals to address some of these accountability concerns are contained in the Government's Judicial Council Bill.

However, it remains in the early stages of its passage through the Oireachtas.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News