Monday 18 December 2017

Legal first as deaf man allowed to join jury

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

A PROFOUNDLY deaf man has made legal history after he was granted permission to serve on a jury with the help of a sign- language interpreter.

Senan Dunne, a former producer with RTE's 'Hands On' programme for deaf viewers, is the first deaf person to be granted permission to serve on a jury.

The decision follows a court order preventing a deaf man from serving on a jury in Tullamore. Last week, Damien Owens (34) was told he could not serve because the law did not allow a 13th person -- a sign-language interpreter -- to be present during deliberations.

But yesterday, Central Criminal Court judge Mr Justice Paul Carney said that objections to having a 13th person could be met by the signer taking an oath of confidentiality.

Mr Dunne, a teacher in St Joseph's School for the Deaf in Dublin, may be called to serve later this week.

Irish Independent

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