A retired judge showed no fear when a 33-year-old man tried to hijack her car in a frightening incident in Dublin .
Gillian Hussey (78) refused to be intimidated when the man got into her car and demanded her keys in the Old Naas Road area of west Dublin on Thursday afternoon.
The Herald has learned that Ms Hussey was sitting in the vehicle at around 1pm when the man jumped in, but he fled as soon as she refused to hand the keys over.
It is understood that gardai were called and the suspect was picked up a short time later and taken to Rathcoole Garda Station where he was questioned about the attempted unauthorised taking of a vehicle before being released without charge.
A file will be prepared for the DPP in relation to the incident.
The suspect lives in the Drumcondra area and it is understood that the incident may not have been premeditated.
No violence was used in the course of the attempted carjacking which lasted only a few seconds.
"Gillian Hussey was always a very plucky, no-nonsense judge and she showed this week that she has lost none of her pluck," a source said.
"She was not intimidated by this individual during what must have been a very scary moment for her."
In March, 2002, Ms Hussey retired as a judge where she had presided over the now-defunct Kilmainham District Court in Dublin's south inner city for 16 years and had dealt with many high profile cases during that time.
Ms Hussey qualified as a solicitor in 1958, and was appointed district justice in 1984.
Among the offenders who stood before her were singer Phil Lynott over a drugs possession charge. Notorious drug dealer John Gilligan and the double killer Michael Bambrick also appear in her court.
She was an outspoken critic of the "revolving door" system, and in 1997 said she had "gone off" sentencing people because of the lack of prison places.
Sources say that she is remembered as "a very strict but extremely fair judge ."
Ms Hussey became chairwoman of the Catholic Church's Child Protection Committee after she retired from the bench.