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 Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce

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PostSubject: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:58 pm

Yesterday in Galway District Court an assault case was thrown out on a technicality. The technicality was that proceedings, the procurement of a summons, was not initiated within twelve months of the date of the alleged offence. Normally the time allowed is six months, but it is doubled when it is a garda accused of a crime.

Back in November of 2007 a young lady, Emma Collins, at around 2 am asked the driver of the taxi she was travelling in to pull over so that she could go to an ATM machine to get some cash. When she returned there was a man sitting in the taxi arguing with the driver, his girlfriend was standing outside the taxi. Emma told the man that she was the taxi's fare and asked him to leave. The situation escalated from there and resulted with the man striking Emma a number of times, in the face, leaving her bleeding. Emma sought out a garda and came across a female garda sergeant and made her complaint. The female garda recognised the man, he was a fellow garda.

The Irish joke, commonly referred to as the Garda Ombudsman, investigated the matter and eventually sent the case to the other joke, the DPP. It is presently not known whether the DPP dragged its heels or whether the Ombudsman took too long to refer the case, that resulted in the time limit being exceeded. What cannot be denied, is that the evidence, the only evidence used in the prosecution, was available from the night of the alleged incident. It must also be added that the taxi driver corroborated Emma's testimony. Garda Shane Waldron had flashed his garda badge at both the taxi driver and Emma, as if it gave him some special right to steal Emma's taxi.

This was the very first case that the Garda Ombudsman has managed to bring into a courtroom.

Normally, as an activist, I'm a big fan of technicalities, as it allows one to bring a civil case after a failed prosecution, without having to give the evil doers a heads up to the quality and scope of one's evidence against them. However, there is not a single aspect of this case that doesn't disgust me. Even the fact that it appeared in the District Court is cause for concern in my view. The fact that the victim was left bleeding merited a trial in front of a jury in the Circuit Court. Of course the DPP stooges had discretion here. I for one would like to know how they used their discretion and why they decided that the District Court was to be the venue. The evidence was clear cut and corroborated.

Questions, as usual, need to be asked. But as usual, we can expect this to fade into the background as the next flavour of the day takes our attention.

My only consolation is that Emma now has two more parties to add to any civil case that she might bring against garda Shane Waldron, the Gardaí and the State - the Ombudsman and the DPP.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:09 pm

Yes, it truly is disgraceful and there should be severe penalties for those responsible for the delay and those who acquiesced in it. That is all I have to say on the matter really because it is as clear cut as that. I've nothing to say on the jursidictional issues because I don't know the facts.

However, there is a long history of issues being brought by the State, and State bodies in the incorrect court. In a civil example: I live in Dublin City Council and about two years ago a developer bought a protected structure in my area. He wanted to develop the structure and surrounding lands but clearly the status of the core building on the site was a difficulty in terms of planning permission. So what did he do? He just bulldozed it without planning permission. The reaction of the Council was, as to be expected, extremely weak. Initially ordered to reinstate the building, on his failure to do so, a case was taken in the District Court against him, he was found guilty and given a fine of 1,000 bloody euro. Consequently he is now free to develop the site as he pleases all for the cost of €1,500 - he has planning permission for about 45 houses and apartments now. It probably saved him about 15 million.


Last edited by johnfás on Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:16 pm

Johnfás wrote:
There is a long history of issues being brought by the State, and State bodies in the incorrect court. In a civil example: I live in Dublin City Council and about two years ago a developer bought a protected structure in my area. He wanted to develop the structure and surrounding lands but clearly the status of the core building on the site was a difficulty in terms of planning permission. So what did he do? He just bulldozed it without planning permission. The reaction of the State was, as to be expected, extremely weak. Initially ordered to reinstate the building, on his failure to do so, a case was taken in the District Court against him, he was found guilty and given the maximum fine the District Court has to impose - about €1,500. Consequently he is now free to develop the site as he pleases all for the cost of €1,500. It probably saved him about 15 million.

That's so common a practice it might well be called normal procedure. The fine might well be considered as a cost. It wouldn't surprise me if this 'cost' can be written off in taxes.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:24 pm

Big sigh.

There's a lot missing from the OP - starting with a link...

Firstly Hermes, the word 'allegedly' is missing from several sentences in your second paragraph in the opening post. One of the non-negotiable aspects of justice is that everyone is entitled to be considered until proven guilty - regardless of other theories that may be in circulation.

Secondly, every case - even murder, has its beginnings in the District Court. Regardless of what the DPP directed, it was up to the judge to establish whether or not he wanted to accept jurisdiction.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:29 pm

Kate P wrote:
Big sigh.

There's a lot missing from the OP - starting with a link...

Firstly Hermes, the word 'allegedly' is missing from several sentences in your second paragraph in the opening post. One of the non-negotiable aspects of justice is that everyone is entitled to be considered until proven guilty - regardless of other theories that may be in circulation.

Secondly, every case - even murder, has its beginnings in the District Court. Regardless of what the DPP directed, it was up to the judge to establish whether or not he wanted to accept jurisdiction.

The link in this case is not mandatory, I attended the case and my view as to what happened is as good as any media view on offer.

The word 'alleged' appears near the start of the OP and everything else is coloured by that. Also, everything else is in reference to the evidence that was produced in the trial and there is nothing whatsoever 'alleged' about it.

This case was tried in the District Court, it wasn't in to set down proceedings.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:58 pm

There is some ambiguity in my OP. Having read some other accounts of yesterday's proceedings I find myself a small bit confused. This confusion has to do with the technicality.

Garda Síochána Act 2005 wrote:
104.— Notwithstanding section 10(4) of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act 1851, summary proceedings in respect of a matter relating to an offence reported to the Director of Public Prosecutions under this Act may be instituted within 12 months from the date of the offence.

I'm unsure of whether it fell to the prosecution to prove that this act applied in this case, or whether the time limit exceeded the 12 months. Either is still imo sloppy work by all concerned. This case imo, should have resulted in the DPP applying for a summons well within six months and had this occurred, the Garda Síochána Act technicality would never have arisen.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:12 pm

Hermes wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Big sigh.

There's a lot missing from the OP - starting with a link...

Firstly Hermes, the word 'allegedly' is missing from several sentences in your second paragraph in the opening post. One of the non-negotiable aspects of justice is that everyone is entitled to be considered until proven guilty - regardless of other theories that may be in circulation.

Secondly, every case - even murder, has its beginnings in the District Court. Regardless of what the DPP directed, it was up to the judge to establish whether or not he wanted to accept jurisdiction.

The link in this case is not mandatory, I attended the case and my view as to what happened is as good as any media view on offer.

The word 'alleged' appears near the start of the OP and everything else is coloured by that. Also, everything else is in reference to the evidence that was produced in the trial and there is nothing whatsoever 'alleged' about it.

This case was tried in the District Court, it wasn't in to set down proceedings.

This is where we disagree on court reporting and not for the first time.

A link isn't mandatory, but it would have been helpful, not least because you didn't state that you had been there, because as a self-confessed activist, you're obviously posting from your perspective and also because court reporters have a number of strictures on them, none of which apply to a person summarising a case whether they've been there or not.

The case was tried in the DC but it's my understanding that the judge could have declined jurisdiction if he felt it would have been better dealt with in the Circuit Court - johnfás will know if that discretion is only relevant to cases of assault causing harm.

Aside from all of the above, which are technicalities about technicalities, you of all people know the importance of procedures and one of the first things the defence will do is look to see that the prosecution has been executed correctly. In fact the judge can't continue with the case if the basis for the prosecution is not sound. There have been a number of significant examples of this - one involving a judge himself - but what you're doing here is casting aspersions on two important organs of the state while having no hint of a suggestion of impropriety on behalf of either of them.

Obviously the summons should have been procured in time. When we know why it wasn't, we'll be in a position to decide whether it's appropriate to throw stones and who to throw them at.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:58 pm

Kate P wrote:
A link isn't mandatory, but it would have been helpful, not least because you didn't state that you had been there, because as a self-confessed activist, you're obviously posting from your perspective and also because court reporters have a number of strictures on them, none of which apply to a person summarising a case whether they've been there or not.

I considered that a link would not be helpful in either the posting of what I witnessed or indeed on the postings of my opinion. To post a link would have been an act of bowing to an authority that doesn't exist. All such strictures 'imposed' upon the media are self imposed or are imposed upon reporters by those who agree to print their works. When I post to a forum, my views etc. are up for discussion, this is not the case with the media and therefore the strictures imposed upon myself are very much more rigorous.

Kate P wrote:
The case was tried in the DC but it's my understanding that the judge could have declined jurisdiction if he felt it would have been better dealt with in the Circuit Court - johnfás will know if that discretion is only relevant to cases of assault causing harm.

I've never heard of a judge in the District Court accepting jurisdiction in a murder case. What's on the summons decides upon what the judge can and cannot decline. There are varying degrees of assault. On this particular summons, the case was destined to be heard in the district court, excepting of course had the defendant demanded to be tried by a jury in the Circuit court - this didn't happen of course.

Kate P wrote:
Aside from all of the above, which are technicalities about technicalities, you of all people know the importance of procedures and one of the first things the defence will do is look to see that the prosecution has been executed correctly. In fact the judge can't continue with the case if the basis for the prosecution is not sound. There have been a number of significant examples of this - one involving a judge himself - but what you're doing here is casting aspersions on two important organs of the state while having no hint of a suggestion of impropriety on behalf of either of them.

I've cast no aspersions whatsoever. In what I've written, fact and opinion are clearly differentiated. Calling either party a joke is not inferring impropriety on either. The fact that either the Ombudsman or the DPP made a complete pig's ear of this case is hardly an issue that's up for question - though that is an assumption on my part and I'd welcome discussing any contrary opinion.

Kate P wrote:
Obviously the summons should have been procured in time. When we know why it wasn't, we'll be in a position to decide whether it's appropriate to throw stones and who to throw them at.

I do not even begin to agree with this. The normal procedure in this country is that if no one makes a fuss there's no issue. I go back to my point about murder. We do not need a proceeding to issue and take its course to be outraged that some individual has been deprived of his or her life. Fair enough we need such a proceeding to find the guilt of the perpetrator before we cast stones at him. But in this case, the scynchronized action of both the DPP and the Ombudsman is up for stonethrowing. I've not picked on any particular individual here. I claim both organisations are to be found very wanting. This is the first case that the Ombudsman has brought to court since they were convened in 2007, that in itself is a monumental disgrace. And as for the DPP, this organisation should understand the law and should have known whether this time limit applied or not or whether they were outside of it before wasting the court's time and resources. Now, if and when, and I very much doubt it, we ever get to find out who, individually, is responsible for this, you can be very sure I'll be standing there, waiting, with plenty of ammo at the ready.


Last edited by Hermes on Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:59 pm

Quote :
because as a self-confessed activist, you're obviously posting from your perspective

Should that not read "alleged activist" Wink ?
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:11 pm

Kate P wrote:
Hermes wrote:
Kate P wrote:
Big sigh.

There's a lot missing from the OP - starting with a link...

Firstly Hermes, the word 'allegedly' is missing from several sentences in your second paragraph in the opening post. One of the non-negotiable aspects of justice is that everyone is entitled to be considered until proven guilty - regardless of other theories that may be in circulation.

Secondly, every case - even murder, has its beginnings in the District Court. Regardless of what the DPP directed, it was up to the judge to establish whether or not he wanted to accept jurisdiction.

The link in this case is not mandatory, I attended the case and my view as to what happened is as good as any media view on offer.

The word 'alleged' appears near the start of the OP and everything else is coloured by that. Also, everything else is in reference to the evidence that was produced in the trial and there is nothing whatsoever 'alleged' about it.

This case was tried in the District Court, it wasn't in to set down proceedings.

This is where we disagree on court reporting and not for the first time.

A link isn't mandatory, but it would have been helpful, not least because you didn't state that you had been there, because as a self-confessed activist, you're obviously posting from your perspective and also because court reporters have a number of strictures on them, none of which apply to a person summarising a case whether they've been there or not.

The case was tried in the DC but it's my understanding that the judge could have declined jurisdiction if he felt it would have been better dealt with in the Circuit Court - johnfás will know if that discretion is only relevant to cases of assault causing harm.

Aside from all of the above, which are technicalities about technicalities, you of all people know the importance of procedures and one of the first things the defence will do is look to see that the prosecution has been executed correctly. In fact the judge can't continue with the case if the basis for the prosecution is not sound. There have been a number of significant examples of this - one involving a judge himself - but what you're doing here is casting aspersions on two important organs of the state while having no hint of a suggestion of impropriety on behalf of either of them.

Obviously the summons should have been procured in time. When we know why it wasn't, we'll be in a position to decide whether it's appropriate to throw stones and who to throw them at.

Big sigh.

While I'd agree with your last statement all things being equal, I'm inclined very much to accept the word of a first hand witness to the proceedings, one moreover who has in depth knowledge of these sorts of proceedings. The facts speak for themselves in relation to the crime itself. There is nothing to discuss there.

Procedures must of course be followed properly - everyone is protected if they are. However, it would be foolish to the point of absurdity given the history the two organs of state in question and the history of unchecked garda brutality and wrongdoing in this country for an intelligent person not to have very good reasons to see this situation as a possible 'here we go again'. If these organs of state have ceased to enjoy the sort of reverence that you still feel for them in spite of everything, they have only themselves to blame. Of course each case must be judged, scrupulously, on its own merits and according to the rules of due process. There isn't one word in the OP which suggests otherwise, imho. On the contrary, the presumption implied in your own post is that the state is to be completely trusted and the onus is on the victim to prove otherwise - even when the facts are clobbering you about the head. This makes in the end for exactly the sort of unthinking, complacent and flat court reporting that litters the pages of the national and local press - and is a substantial part of why the garda and the DPP get away with so much of what they get away with. I know journalists pride themselves in this sort of cowardice, otherwise known as 'balance' - when it is anything but balanced. We search in vain in the resulting reports for any sense of what is really going on. Thank God for the reality reporting of people like Hermes - i.e. people who state their position relative to the facts up front, who don't tell lies or distort those facts even so - as opposed to the arid accounts written from unstated personal positions but which strain to make it look as if it isn't so. This sort of reporting goes out of its way to justify and to defend the indefensible and, even as more and more damning evidence emerges, still appears determined to move the goal posts right up to the last in its defense of the status quo. It seems as though many reporters, once they have taken a view that is allied to authority, are very reluctant ever to rock that boat.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:19 pm

Calm yourself down Aragon, you are developing rather a habit of penning fairly personalised comments towards certain posters. Let's get back on topic and deal with the issues please. Personalised attacks will not be tolerated.

I'll be back to comment on issues regarding the District Court later. Tied up with a few issues related to the Constitution presently and don't want to send myself off track.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:28 pm

I read some court reports, obviously without the insights that the other posters on this thread have. In general, through no fault of the reporter, but from convention and limits on space, I find reports are too vague, short and summarised for me to be able to feel that I could come to an independent view on the evidence/facts.

There are some exceptions - the Nora Wall case, and Catherine Nevin's case being two - in which I felt on the basis of the news reports profoundly uncomfortable as to whether justice had been done. This was not because of campaigning journalists, but because there was enough detail of the proceedings reported for it to be possible to see some very unsatisfactory evidence was being given serious weight.

The case was reported on RTE very briefly - there was no suggestion that the woman in the case was injured significantly - it sounded as if she had been hit with three slaps of the open hand. That was bad enough -if it was more than that, it was bad reporting on the part of RTE.

The outcome for the defendent is that he won't have any opportunity to clear his name of the allegations. Some people would be bothered by that more than others. The woman in the case must feel cheated. It appears that there was negligence in failing to bring the case properly. If it was more than that, and the implication is that a guard was protected from the law, it would be very serious.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:16 pm

cactus flower wrote:
I read some court reports, obviously without the insights that the other posters on this thread have. In general, through no fault of the reporter, but from convention and limits on space, I find reports are too vague, short and summarised for me to be able to feel that I could come to an independent view on the evidence/facts.

There are some exceptions - the Nora Wall case, and Catherine Nevin's case being two - in which I felt on the basis of the news reports profoundly uncomfortable as to whether justice had been done. This was not because of campaigning journalists, but because there was enough detail of the proceedings reported for it to be possible to see some very unsatisfactory evidence was being given serious weight.

The case was reported on RTE very briefly - there was no suggestion that the woman in the case was injured significantly - it sounded as if she had been hit with three slaps of the open hand. That was bad enough -if it was more than that, it was bad reporting on the part of RTE.

The outcome for the defendent is that he won't have any opportunity to clear his name of the allegations. Some people would be bothered by that more than others. The woman in the case must feel cheated. It appears that there was negligence in failing to bring the case properly. If it was more than that, and the implication is that a guard was protected from the law, it would be very serious.

That's quite a fair view.

This particular lady, who was on her own at 2am in the morning was struck in the mouth at least three times. At the end of it she was bleeding. She may have been pushed around a bit before this happened as is normally the case. The pushing around bit, would normally be described as 'common assault,' and is heard at District Court level. This case was heard as a common assault. The drawing of blood, but not leaving a serious injury, imo, falls into the indictable side of Section 3 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997. This I again stress is merely my opinion, and in the OP, I also stated that it was my opinion. What if the shoe were on the other foot and a man had struck a female garda in the mouth three times causing bleeding? Imo, we'd be talking a jury trial.

Section 3 - Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 wrote:
.—(1) A person who assaults another causing him or her harm shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—


( a ) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or to both, or


( b ) on conviction on indictment to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both.

As for the possibility that the DPP and the Ombudsman are aiding and abetting criminal gardaí. Though I have not said so in this thread, I've no doubts whatsoever that that is the case. The Ombudsman has literally investigated thousands of cases and has turned away many thousands more and yet only a single case thus far has ended up in court. There are approximately 15,000 (I may be out by a thousand or two, I don't have the actual figures to hand). Statistically, to me at least, this alone seems to be very suspect. Having dealt with the Garda Ombudsman on a fair few occasions, I'm very familiar with how they operate and how this operation from the very get go couldn't but help any criminals that ought to be investigated. I'd be happy to elaborate on this if anyone wishes it.

I've witnessed the DPP on a massive amount of occasions, try non-indictable offences (which in itself is unusual) and gloss over garda perjury, when said perjury was very apparent. The big problem in the normal course of events is that there are no stenographers in District Courts, and therefore proving perjury (don't expect the DPP to initiate such a proceeding either) is tantamount to impossible. Thankfully, any cases I'm involved in, we bring a stenographer with us, and are in possession of a very large amount of perjured evidence, on the record. However, my hands are somewhat tied in talking about many of these incidents, as civil actions are in the works. All the same, I'd be very glad to talk about specific incidents, naming the culprits, but am afraid to do so as it may put the site at risk. It's a risk that would eventually lead to a very bad beating for the State, but that'd hardly console those of us accustomed to being able to use MN all the time.

Now back to the point that both CF and Aragon have raised. Balance in the reporting of the goings on in court. Even this so-called balance is very one-sided.

Catherine Nevin was assassinated by the press and TV, before and during her trial. The Ploughshares were assassinated before their trials and the press in general had sweet FA to say when they were found innocent excepting where they used their pedestals to pillory the defendants, the jury and the law. Yet when we talk of anyone of importance, like bankers, politicians or gardaí, they're very wary about blackening names. Even on the rare occasion when one of these people have been convicted, they tend to be quite demure and reticent. They'd never use the brush to tar the rest of their comrades. Not so with the 'scum' like myself. Any bloody excuse will do to break out the brush and start painting a witch hunt. Things are changing slowly on that particular front mind you. Not because they've suddenly discovered ethics or anything so grand. No. We're just getting really good at kicking arse is the reason. And they only like weak victims.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:51 pm

johnfás wrote:
Calm yourself down Aragon, you are developing rather a habit of penning fairly personalised comments towards certain posters. Let's get back on topic and deal with the issues please. Personalised attacks will not be tolerated.

I'll be back to comment on issues regarding the District Court later. Tied up with a few issues related to the Constitution presently and don't want to send myself off track.

A perfect example of a personalised post, off topic and completely missing the substantive points that I made directly relevant to the issue. Smile

I've looked at my last post up and down and have no idea why you see it as a personalised attack. Do a bit of calming down yourself johnfas. I'm aware of your disapproval of my political orientation - dont let it blind you to that fact that you have an orientation yourself, however, very much more evident than you may realise Wink .

It's Friday and I'm off to the smile thread I saw a moment ago. It's been a tough week's ranting.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:24 pm

Hermes wrote:
Yesterday in Galway District Court an assault case was thrown out on a technicality. The technicality was that proceedings, the procurement of a summons, was not initiated within twelve months of the date of the alleged offence. Normally the time allowed is six months, but it is doubled when it is a garda accused of a crime.

Back in November of 2007 a young lady, Emma Collins, at around 2 am asked the driver of the taxi she was travelling in to pull over so that she could go to an ATM machine to get some cash. When she returned there was a man sitting in the taxi arguing with the driver, his girlfriend was standing outside the taxi. Emma told the man that she was the taxi's fare and asked him to leave. The situation escalated from there and resulted with the man striking Emma a number of times, in the face, leaving her bleeding. Emma sought out a garda and came across a female garda sergeant and made her complaint. The female garda recognised the man, he was a fellow garda.

The Irish joke, commonly referred to as the Garda Ombudsman, investigated the matter and eventually sent the case to the other joke, the DPP. It is presently not known whether the DPP dragged its heels or whether the Ombudsman took too long to refer the case, that resulted in the time limit being exceeded. What cannot be denied, is that the evidence, the only evidence used in the prosecution, was available from the night of the alleged incident. It must also be added that the taxi driver corroborated Emma's testimony. Garda Shane Waldron had flashed his garda badge at both the taxi driver and Emma, as if it gave him some special right to steal Emma's taxi.

This was the very first case that the Garda Ombudsman has managed to bring into a courtroom.

Normally, as an activist, I'm a big fan of technicalities, as it allows one to bring a civil case after a failed prosecution, without having to give the evil doers a heads up to the quality and scope of one's evidence against them. However, there is not a single aspect of this case that doesn't disgust me. Even the fact that it appeared in the District Court is cause for concern in my view. The fact that the victim was left bleeding merited a trial in front of a jury in the Circuit Court. Of course the DPP stooges had discretion here. I for one would like to know how they used their discretion and why they decided that the District Court was to be the venue. The evidence was clear cut and corroborated.

Questions, as usual, need to be asked. But as usual, we can expect this to fade into the background as the next flavour of the day takes our attention.

My only consolation is that Emma now has two more parties to add to any civil case that she might bring against garda Shane Waldron, the Gardaí and the State - the Ombudsman and the DPP.
In particular, there would seem to be something here that needs looking at in detail to get to the truth of what happened and if necessary heads should roll.

In general, it's difficult to see how the breaking of the law could disgust you so, given that you yourself would be given to breaking the law if & whenever it suits you or your cause of the day. I'm a great believer in one way or the other way, but don't try to play it both ways.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:33 pm

Tonys wrote:
In general, it's difficult to see how the breaking of the law could disgust you so, given that you yourself would be given to breaking the law if & whenever it suits you or your cause of the day.

I'd ask, politely for now, that you substantiate that remark or withdraw it.

Tonys wrote:
I'm a great believer in one way or the other way, but don't try to play it both ways.

I too am a great believer in the thought of a 'one size fits all' law and have never once tried to 'play it both ways.'
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:59 pm

Hermes wrote:
Tonys wrote:
In general, it's difficult to see how the breaking of the law could disgust you so, given that you yourself would be given to breaking the law if & whenever it suits you or your cause of the day.

I'd ask, politely for now, that you substantiate that remark or withdraw it.

Tonys wrote:
I'm a great believer in one way or the other way, but don't try to play it both ways.

I too am a great believer in the thought of a 'one size fits all' law and have never once tried to 'play it both ways.'
My point would have been partly based on this quote from yourself ; "Unless one is absolutely authoritarian in one's outlook, one must conclude that there does exist a time or rather, a circumstance, when one is justified in attacking the police."...... in my opinion it is never lawful to attack the police, you may think it justifiable, but it's never lawful.
and partly that I understood you to be a supporter of for example Shell to sea and all they get up to including breaking the law as it suits them, if that's not the case and you don't stand over their actions and I misunderstood your remark on attacking the police, I'll withdraw my remark.

Don't bother with the politeness if you don't feel up to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:18 pm

tonys wrote:
Hermes wrote:
Tonys wrote:
In general, it's difficult to see how the breaking of the law could disgust you so, given that you yourself would be given to breaking the law if & whenever it suits you or your cause of the day.

I'd ask, politely for now, that you substantiate that remark or withdraw it.

Tonys wrote:
I'm a great believer in one way or the other way, but don't try to play it both ways.

I too am a great believer in the thought of a 'one size fits all' law and have never once tried to 'play it both ways.'
My point would have been partly based on this quote from yourself ; "Unless one is absolutely authoritarian in one's outlook, one must conclude that there does exist a time or rather, a circumstance, when one is justified in attacking the police."...... in my opinion it is never lawful to attack the police, you may think it justifiable, but it's never lawful.
and partly that I understood you to be a supporter of for example Shell to sea and all they get up to including breaking the law as it suits them, if that's not the case and you don't stand over their actions and I misunderstood your remark on attacking the police, I'll withdraw my remark.

Don't bother with the politeness if you don't feel up to it.

That's what I thought you meant. But I note that you mined the quote, leaving out the context. And then you substituted the law with your opinion.

I've never advocated attacking the police, not once. I have and continue to advocate the right to self defence and have said that this right is absolute even if it means defending against Gardaí who are breaking the law. That is the law and your opinion of it whilst being contrary is quite worthless in as far as substance is concerned.

Now and for the record, you suggested that I'd break the law whenever it suited me to do so. This gives the impression that I've broken the law on many occasions and that I implore others to do the same. This is a very blind and offensive statement on your part. I've never once been arrested in my life and my activism has never once lead to any appearence in court on charges based on it. Neither have I any conviction associated with my activism. It seems that for now, you'll be stuck with levelling groundless accusations and insults without any evidence whatsoever to back them up. This of course is a contradiction of your own stated ethos: "I'm a great believer in one way or the other way, but don't try to play it both ways."

As for my dealings with Shell to Sea. It's my absolute honour to have any association with these brave and selfless people. If it means being tarred by someone who unflinchingly kneels before the likes of Fianna Fáil, accepting and spinning for them, their each and every vacuous excuse, then you do me more honour than I deserve.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:08 pm

Hermes wrote:
tonys wrote:
Hermes wrote:
Tonys wrote:
In general, it's difficult to see how the breaking of the law could disgust you so, given that you yourself would be given to breaking the law if & whenever it suits you or your cause of the day.

I'd ask, politely for now, that you substantiate that remark or withdraw it.

Tonys wrote:
I'm a great believer in one way or the other way, but don't try to play it both ways.

I too am a great believer in the thought of a 'one size fits all' law and have never once tried to 'play it both ways.'
My point would have been partly based on this quote from yourself ; "Unless one is absolutely authoritarian in one's outlook, one must conclude that there does exist a time or rather, a circumstance, when one is justified in attacking the police."...... in my opinion it is never lawful to attack the police, you may think it justifiable, but it's never lawful.
and partly that I understood you to be a supporter of for example Shell to sea and all they get up to including breaking the law as it suits them, if that's not the case and you don't stand over their actions and I misunderstood your remark on attacking the police, I'll withdraw my remark.

Don't bother with the politeness if you don't feel up to it.

That's what I thought you meant. But I note that you mined the quote, leaving out the context. And then you substituted the law with your opinion.

I've never advocated attacking the police, not once. I have and continue to advocate the right to self defence and have said that this right is absolute even if it means defending against Gardaí who are breaking the law. That is the law and your opinion of it whilst being contrary is quite worthless in as far as substance is concerned. At the time you did not qualify your statement with only if they are breaking the law

Now and for the record, you suggested that I'd break the law whenever it suited me to do so. This gives the impression that I've broken the law on many occasions and that I implore others to do the same. This is a very blind and offensive statement on your part. I've never once been arrested in my life and my activism has never once lead to any appearence in court on charges based on it. Neither have I any conviction associated with my activism. It seems that for now, you'll be stuck with levelling groundless accusations and insults without any evidence whatsoever to back them up. This of course is a contradiction of your own stated ethos: "I'm a great believer in one way or the other way, but don't try to play it both ways." "you yourself would be given to breaking the law" is quite clearly referring to possible future activities, is based solely on your own expressed views as quoted and makes no claim on your past.

As for my dealings with Shell to Sea. It's my absolute honour to have any association with these brave and selfless people. If it means being tarred by someone who unflinchingly kneels before the likes of Fianna Fáil, accepting and spinning for them, their each and every vacuous excuse, I note that you do not disassociate yourself from anything Shell to sea have done.
then you do me more honour than I deserve. Given the tone of your reply, you could well be right there.

Having made my reply above, No offence was intended in my original reply, I was just stating my understanding of your position, if I have caused offence I apologise, if I misunderstood your position, I withdraw my original remark.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:38 pm

Kate asked about the jurisdiction of the District Court and its discretion regarding the hearing of cases.

As Kate said, all criminal charges are in the first instance initiated in the District Court. Generally the District Court deals with summary offences. However, it has jurisdiction to deal with indictable offences summarily where (i) the District Court judge believes that it is a minor offence (ii) the DPP consents to the summary disposal of the matter (iii) the accused consents to the summary disposal of the matter.

I am unwilling to comment on the specifics of whether this issue was dealt with properly because I do not know what this man was charged with, none of the media reports State that. However, assuming it was either Assault under Section 2 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 or Assault Causing Harm under Section 3 of the same act both can be dealt with summarily by the District Court. The former resulting in a maximum punishment of 6 months in prison, a €1,900 fine or both and the latter on the same basis but with a maximum of 12 months in prison.

Thus in answer to Kate's question, yes the issue could have proceeded to the Circuit Court provided it was Assault Causing Harm and not simple Assault and that the District justice, in his or her discretion believed the offence not to be minor in nature. That said the issue rarely arises before the courts and as such is largely a matter of prosecutorial discretion.


Last edited by johnfás on Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:42 pm

I have certainly heard of cases in which the District Court Judge has decided that a case should be dealt with by a higher Court.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:46 pm

Well... you would do because it happens every day of the week. As I said all criminal cases begin in the District Court so any situation such as Murder, which has to be tried in the Central Criminal Court, will start out in the District Court and you will hear on the news that the District judge has adjourned the case so that it can be sent to the Centrel Criminal Court.

It is however rare that the DPP will seek to have a case dealt with before the District Court and the District judge actually reject that. It does happen, but it is rare. It could happen in a situation where the DPP mistakenly takes a case which the District Court is not competent to hear but that is not the case in relation to Assault or Assault Causing Harm. It would be the case in the context of Assault Causing Serious Harm, but that is not applicable in this situation.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:52 pm

That is very clear johnfás. Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:10 pm

Hermes wrote:
Kate P wrote:
A link isn't mandatory, but it would have been helpful, not least because you didn't state that you had been there, because as a self-confessed activist, you're obviously posting from your perspective and also because court reporters have a number of strictures on them, none of which apply to a person summarising a case whether they've been there or not.

I considered that a link would not be helpful in either the posting of what I witnessed or indeed on the postings of my opinion. To post a link would have been an act of bowing to an authority that doesn't exist. All such strictures 'imposed' upon the media are self imposed or are imposed upon reporters by those who agree to print their works. When I post to a forum, my views etc. are up for discussion, this is not the case with the media and therefore the strictures imposed upon myself are very much more rigorous.

Your first sentence in bold is factually incorrect. Court reporting is a legal minefield, not because of strictures imposted by 'media outlets' or by reporters themselves. It is illegal for example to identify a minor, to publish - on a forum or any other medium material which might allow the victim of an alleged sexual assault to be identfied, it's illegal to reveal details of a manufacturing formula and I'm sure you're familiar with the provisions of the Bail Act 2006, the Criminal Procedure Act 1987...

You are no doubt also aware of the statutory and common-law privileges attaching to reports and those who report them.

Your definition of 'media' conveniently excludes those which you feel have no owner or manager who agrees to publish the works. You may like to revisit that.

What your final sentence means, in the context of the one before it, I have absolutely no idea. You have reported on a court hearing - and refused to provide a link. I'm not sure what strictures you feel bound to that are more rigorous than those to which court reporters and journalists are bound.

Your opinions, given in later paragraphs of the OP are indeed bound by different strictures to those which apply to court reporting. There are constitutional and human rights provisions as well as defamation considerations to be borne in mind.

You are entitled to those opinions once they are based on "facts which are truly stated."


Quote :
Kate P wrote:
The case was tried in the DC but it's my understanding that the judge could have declined jurisdiction if he felt it would have been better dealt with in the Circuit Court - johnfás will know if that discretion is only relevant to cases of assault causing harm.

I've never heard of a judge in the District Court accepting jurisdiction in a murder case. What's on the summons decides upon what the judge can and cannot decline. There are varying degrees of assault. On this particular summons, the case was destined to be heard in the district court, excepting of course had the defendant demanded to be tried by a jury in the Circuit court - this didn't happen of course.

Sections 3 and 4 are indictable. This was clearly Section 2 and was destined to be heard in the District Court but the accused did not have the right of election. It's a summary offence, it is not an indictable offence - it would never have gone to the Circuit Court.

Drawing blood does not necessarily mean the assault causes harm - that, as you rightly suggest is your opinion. He could have been charged with assault simplicitor however, even if he hadn't made contact with her.

*edit, just read your comment johnfás about jurisdiction. Thanks.

Quote :
Kate P wrote:
Aside from all of the above, which are technicalities about technicalities, you of all people know the importance of procedures and one of the first things the defence will do is look to see that the prosecution has been executed correctly. In fact the judge can't continue with the case if the basis for the prosecution is not sound. There have been a number of significant examples of this - one involving a judge himself - but what you're doing here is casting aspersions on two important organs of the state while having no hint of a suggestion of impropriety on behalf of either of them.

I've cast no aspersions whatsoever. In what I've written, fact and opinion are clearly differentiated. Calling either party a joke is not inferring impropriety on either. The fact that either the Ombudsman or the DPP made a complete pig's ear of this case is hardly an issue that's up for question - though that is an assumption on my part and I'd welcome discussing any contrary opinion.

You've suggested that there is no legitimate reason for the delay in the procurement of the warrant - even though there may well be. You've done it in three different ways in your third paragraph.

That you're disgusted because a technicality may have been seen to 'benefit' someone on the other side to you is an interesting comment on your attitude to the law. You don't like it when it doesn't suit you and you don't like it when it does suit others.

Quote :
Kate P wrote:
Obviously the summons should have been procured in time. When we know why it wasn't, we'll be in a position to decide whether it's appropriate to throw stones and who to throw them at.

I do not even begin to agree with this. The normal procedure in this country is that if no one makes a fuss there's no issue. I go back to my point about murder. We do not need a proceeding to issue and take its course to be outraged that some individual has been deprived of his or her life. Fair enough we need such a proceeding to find the guilt of the perpetrator before we cast stones at him. But in this case, the scynchronized action of both the DPP and the Ombudsman is up for stonethrowing. I've not picked on any particular individual here. I claim both organisations are to be found very wanting. This is the first case that the Ombudsman has brought to court since they were convened in 2007, that in itself is a monumental disgrace. And as for the DPP, this organisation should understand the law and should have known whether this time limit applied or not or whether they were outside of it before wasting the court's time and resources. Now, if and when, and I very much doubt it, we ever get to find out who, individually, is responsible for this, you can be very sure I'll be standing there, waiting, with plenty of ammo at the ready.

The fact here is that the summons wasn't procured in time and that's the only fact of which we are aware. We don't know that the 'synchronised' action of the Ombudsman and the DPP is the cause of that. You claim - on what basis I have no idea, that both organisations are to be found wanting.

There's no doubt but that the DPP does understand the law but that doesn't mean that it gets everything right, every single time because it relies on human beings to get it right at every step of the way. No doubt you'd be complaining too if the case was withdrawn without coming to court. If the DPP did know the documentation wasn't in order, at least that emerged in public.

The summons wasn't procured in time. But I wonder - and maybe there's a legal mind out there who might be able to answer this, whether the case was dismissed without prejudice, in which case the defendant could possibly (?) be arrested and charged with the same offence. Is a criminal prosecution now completely out of the question?
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:16 pm

How are District Court proceedings recorded? Is the Court record easily available to the public ?
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