Claire Daly launches Dáil tirade against judge who issued warrant for her arrest

Deputy Daly said Naas district Court Judge was “irrational” and “Inefficient”

Independent TD Clare Daly has used Dáil privilege to criticise the judge who oversaw a case against her in the District Court.

A bench warrant was issued for Deputy Daly’s arrest earlier this month when she failed to appear in court over an alleged speeding offence.

The Independents 4 Change TD said she had travelled to Naas District Court to answer the summons but left when she saw her name at the bottom of the list - with a large number of people before her.

On her return to court this morning Deputy Daly was fined €300 for the speeding offence with Justice Zaidan accusing her of showing a “total disrespect for the law.”

Deputy Daly launched an extraordinary tirade against the judge in the Dáil this evening as part of a debate on new legislation that could potentially see the establishment of a new commission for judicial appointments.

She called the judge “irrational” and “Inefficient” and claimed he is “causing huge problems with regard to the administration of justice.”

She said the current system for judicial appointments means we are “stuck” with judges who are not performing well.

“The idea that somebody could be in such a position of power because of political connections rather than merit and so on is absolutely reprehensible and I welcome the measures in this regard,” she said.

She told the House of her return to court with “the same judge lecturing me about disrespecting his court, not giving me an opportunity to say anything about his irrational decisions but at the same time carrying on."

Ms Daly said the decision to issue a bench warrant “when I clearly wasn't any risk of absconding” meant An Garda Síochána was subject to “massive negative publicity that it had orchestrated this.”

She also said a sergeant had to leave his post in Newbridge in order to spend the day in Swords and vacate the order.

“I acknowledge a judicial council is included in the Government's programme but some outrageous decisions and behaviour are taking place in our courts.

“Our laws provide that nobody can do anything about that judge - but he is causing huge problems with regard to the administration of justice given the inefficiency of the court sittings in his district,” she said.

The Dublin North TD said she was sharing her experience as "an example of how utterly ludicrous some of the behaviour that people we have entrusted to manage our courts is - and nobody can do anything about it.”

"The saddest thing about that case is that judge is the sitting judge in Naas District Court which means he can stay there for as long as he likes.

"From looking at him today he has a few years left in him and they could be looking at him for about 12 years."

Dáil privilege protects TDs and Senators from being sued for defamation as a result of any speech made in the house. The privilege protects members both in the Dáil and at Committee hearings.