| 6.1°C Dublin

Immigrant group calls for training of judges

JUDGES need to undergo "intercultural training", the head of an NGO that helps to integrate immigrants to Ireland has claimed.

Killian Forde, CEO of the Integration Centre, made the comment after District Court Judge Anthony Halpin said he thought Muslim men believe they can hit their wives.

"I think that Muslims feel that they can actually beat their wives," the judge said at a sitting of Tallaght District Court this week.

Mr Forde hit out at judges who express "social commentary" in the course of their work.

"Some judges seem to have a fetish for expressing social commentary," he said.

"If they want to be social commentators they can become journalists or they can work for charities.


"It's simply not appropriate for judges to be giving a running commentary on their own prejudice as they go along. Intercultural training would be the most appropriate thing."

Mr Forde also said that the Department of Justice needed to do more.

"I think this has become a pattern within Irish society," he said.

The judge's comments have been condemned by a number of groups, and he has been called on to withdraw or clarify the remarks.