Gardaí criticised over handling of allegations against retired judge. How come, this Judge O’Connor, was never even Questioned, Fucking Amazing?

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Former Kerry judge James O’Connor named by TD under Dáil privilege

Retired Kerry judge James O’Connor. Photograph: Eamonn Ke

Anne Lucey

Thu Sep 30 2021 – 00:54

Allegations that a former judge abused his position to pursue vulnerable women who were before his court raised “fundamental issues” because the claims were not dealt with comprehensively, according to Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy highlighted allegations made against a Kerry-based former District Court judge who he named under Dáil privilege as James O’Connor.

Mr Murphy said he previously raised the issue in July of allegations about a “gross abuse of power” by the judge who retired in 2018 and allegations of “how he had abused his position, persistently and completely inappropriately to pursue a vulnerable woman, who was before his court on a family law matter, for a sexual relationship”.

During the summer he was contacted by another woman, “who told me a very similar story relating to the same judge. She too was before him on a family law matter”.

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The judge “approached her repeatedly, he got her number and then he persistently pursued her”. In one incident he told her he had information for her case and told her to meet him at the backdoor of the courthouse. Once there he said he did not have the paperwork and brought her inside to get it, Mr Murphy said. “Then he lunged at me. I pushed him and left. He obviously felt he could have done anything he wanted to,” Mr Murphy quoted the woman as saying.

He said “the first woman went to the Garda and was told there was nothing to investigate and it was a normal situation of ‘boy meets girl’ ”.

Mr Martin said the first case had gone to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSoc) and there was a “real issue” about how diligently the authorities follow allegations of this nature because “they have not been dealt with comprehensively in this case”.

Stressing “governments do not engage in the operational side of prosecution” Mr Martin added however that “this raises fundamental issues” and he will consider the issue “to see how we can proceed”.

Contacted for his response Judge O’Connor said “no comment”.

‘ABUSE OF POWER’ 

Judge sent woman barrage of texts and calls seeking sexual relationship after court case, Dail hears

  • 16:03, 14 Jul 2021
  • Updated: 16:25, 14 Jul 2021

A WOMAN who went to court seeking a protection order later received a barrage of texts and calls from the judge seeking a sexual relationship.

People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy today detailed the shocking incident that saw an Irish judge pressurise a woman to meet up with him after her court case.

People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy raised the 'gross abuse of power' in the Dail today
People Before Profit TD Paul Murphy raised the ‘gross abuse of power’ in the Dail todayCredit: PCPhoto
The woman says she felt pressured into meeting with the judge after he contacted her
The woman says she felt pressured into meeting with the judge after he contacted herCredit: Getty Images – Getty

He told the Dail that the judge, who has since retired, told the woman she was beautiful and begged her not to tell people that he was contacting her.

The woman felt pressured to meet up with the judge who made it clear that he was solely seeking a sexual relationship with her.

Deputy Murphy told the Dail that this was a “blatant and gross abuse of power” and said the women got no justice despite taking the case to gardai and GSOC.

‘GROSS ABUSE OF POWER’

He said: “Last week, I spoke to a woman who was the victim of a blatant and gross abuse of power.

“She was in court seeking a protection order and was under immense stress. After the court case, the Kerry judge who is now retired, who I won’t name, contacted her.

“He texted her, he called her persistently. He told her she was beautiful. He told her she shouldn’t tell anybody else about the contact he was having with her.

“He pressured her to meet up with him. When she met up with him out of fear, it became very clear that what he was interested in was nothing to do with the case but was pursuing a sexual relationship.”

WOMAN’S FEAR

He added: “She was afraid. She managed to cut off all contact with him but it’s a very clear abuse of power.

“She pursued all of the avenues for justice that were open to her. She wrote letters to senior judges, she went to the gardai. She went to GSOC. And she got no justice.

“The question, Taoiseach, is what is being done to ensure that things like this, these sorts of abuses of power can not happen again.”

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the incident was a “shocking abuse of power” and claimed it should have been dealt with by the appropriate authorities.

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