Public attack attempt to make Woulfe quit following ‘Golfgate’ controversy
Justice Minister Helen McEntee received a mixed response from the public on the controversy over ‘Golfgate’ Judge Séamus Woulfe.
Some were sharply critical of Chief Justice Frank Clarke, saying he had over-reached in calling for Mr Justice Woulfe’s resignation.
The records – released under FOI – show Ms McEntee received more than two dozen representations but access to some were refused because they contained personal information.
In one email, the chief justice was accused of having acted in a “high-handed manner” with criticism of the publication of interview transcripts and letters with Mr Justice Woulfe. It even drew links with the privacy battles of Meghan Markle, whose correspondence was also published, and should never have made their way into the public domain.
The email said: “I felt that Séamus Woulfe was reasonably satisfied to forego three months’ salary and he apologised any number of times for his mistake.
“I believe that in the event [Mr] Woulfe is somehow pressured to resign that the fair and just outcome would be that the Chief Justice would also be asked to resign.” Another said the report of Justice Susan Denham into the Clifden, Co Galway event should have been the final word. It added: “The present Chief Justice has made a major misjudgment and solely decided to act as ‘judge, jury, and executioner.”
“If this goes to a court, I think [Séamus] Woulfe will receive a serious amount of damages,” another said.
Others were sharply critical of the process by which Justice Mr Woulfe had been appointed to the Supreme Court in the first place.
One wrote to Ms McEntee saying: “If you were employed by a private company and you selected an applicant for a high-powered position who had no experience, how long do you think you would last in that company?”