A DUBLIN-based district court judge has asked Muslims for forgiveness after casting a slur on them.
Judge Anthony Halpin caused outrage last week after telling Tallaght District Court that "Muslims feel they can actually beat their wives" during the trial of a Somali man.
The judge apologised over the weekend and said he had made "an unfortunate and incorrect remark in court".
He said: "This has attracted some attention which gives the impression that I hold views less than favourable to the Muslim religion.
"I would like to state that nothing could be further from the truth.
"I accept that I made the remark, but what I intended to say, and should have said, was that people who beat their partners do not appreciate the provisions of safety or protection orders, and they need intervention and education in that regard.
"I had no intention of referring to or offending Muslims or their religion, and I apologise for the hurt caused. I ask for their forgiveness."
The Immigrant Council of Ireland said it welcomed the "apology and clarification" by Judge Halpin.
"The judge's reassurance that he had no intention of offending Muslims or their religion is particularly welcome and we accept the apology to that community is genuine," a spokesman said.
"This episode again underlines the need for people in authority to reflect on the impact their remarks, even those made off the cuff or in the heat of the moment, can have on the wider public and feed into stereotypes which are wrong and offensive."
Judge Halpin made the comments during the case of Khadar Younis (46), of Citywest, Dublin, who denied breaking into his divorced wife's home.
He also pleaded not guilty to breaking a protection order and being in possession of a knife while in the house.
The court heard that his former wife wanted to drop the case, saying Younis was a good father to their four children but not a good husband to her.