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Judge sorry for 'welfare cash is Polish charity'

A COMPLAINT has been made to gardai after a judge has been accused of insulting Polish people.

Judge Mary Devins had suggested in court that social welfare was a "Polish charity".

She has since apologised, saying the comment was directed a specific group of individuals involved in an "alcohol-fuelled incident".

But Killian Forde, of the Dublin-based Integration Centre, described her original comment as "absolutely disgraceful" and said her apology was insufficient.


He told the Herald he was to make a complaint to gardai under the racist reporting mechanism on the basis that the centre believes the remark was contrary to the Incitement to Hatred Act 1989.

Mr Forde said the complaint means officers will look into the incident, even if nothing comes of it.

"It's the only way to do it. It's the first time I imagine there has been a judge complained about," the former city councillor added.

She made the social welfare remark while hearing a case in Castlebar, Co Mayo, against a trainee plumber who called an Irish security guard a "fat Polish f***er". Enda Moylette, of Derrycoorane, Islandeady, Castlebar, had pleaded guilty when his case was heard several months previously by Judge Conal Gibbons.

Judge Gibbons had adjourned the matter to allow Mr Moylette to pay €1,000 to a Polish charity in lieu of a conviction and a fine.

When the case came before Judge Devins last Friday, the question arose over whether a Polish charity was in operating in Ireland.

"A Polish charity? There is. It's called the social welfare," the judge commented, according to reports in local newspapers.

It was suggested the Polish Chaplaincy in Ireland could be suitable but Judge Devins said she would prefer a local charity to benefit.

She added she had a difficulty in granting the payment and adjourned the matter.