Thursday, 30 September 2010

Judge Mary Devins questions Polish interpretation.

Who judges the judges? And are there safeguards in place to ensure that those appointed to such responsible positions – they effectively have the power to ruin people's lives – are accountable and have some grasp of reality?  Should they be  required to be somehow in touch?

Witness, My’Lud, the utterances of Judge Mary Devins, sitting at Claremorris District Court, as recalled by the Mayo News of 28th September, questioning the rights of two Polish nationals before her having access to interpreters. "Why", asked the good judge, “when the country is on its knees do we have to pay for a Polish interpreter?”

The two, Rafal and Martin Justa, had the misfortune to find themselves in front of Devins, charged with driving offences.  Devins, of course, is famous for flouting the law in the past by repeatedly parking on double yellow lines outside Ballinrobe Courthouse. However, it would appear that those who apply the law don’t necessarily have to abide by it.     (see Arrogant judge bans arrogant farmer)

Devins addressed the defendants, asking them  how long they had been living in the country. “Seven years”, came the reply. “So you have been in this country for seven years and you haven’t learned at least one of our languages?” was her retort, though the fact that they had already responded to her question in the vernacular should have been answer enough.

I love the Official Ireland artificial indignation of  the “at least one of our languages” phrase.  I assume Judge Mary was not referring to Polish or forms of Chinese (our most widely spoken second and third languages) when she referred to the plurality of languages spoken in present-day Ireland? 

Sure, maybe after seven years living here it might be reasonable to assume the two lads had a fair enough grasp of English to express themselves adequately.  But then again, a courtroom is a very intimidating place, especially if Devins is in front of you, and if you are not a native English speaker it is more intimidating still.  And there is a precedent for interpretation, after all...

If Devins and her cohorts want to save public money in the courts, they might like to look at their own unaccountable, highly paid, jobs-for-life work culture.  While she is at it, and on a more general level, she might also look at the pervasive culture of Fianna Fail.  Her hubby, Jimmy, is an FF TD after all.

Finally,  she might consider how the courts' money is often squandered on defendants whose mother-tongue is English but who insist on having their cases heard “as Gaeilge” on the basis of it being their “constitutional right”, thanks to De Valera’s reactionary (and consequently out-of-touch) 1937 Constitution.

Let us be consistent, for once.

See O'Cuiv's charter for legal obfuscation

PS Thanks to Mike for this one.

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Anonymous said...

Reminds me of our good mate Prawo Jazdy,the Polish arch criminal who kept the guards guessing with all his road traffic offences,they earned their money that time alright.

danger here

The Gombeen Man said...

Ah yes... that was a classic!

Anonymous said...

yes indeed gm another great day for oirland ,how dare these plonker polish plumbers expect a lovely irish colleen judge to speak polish, if they dont speak irish how can they read the irish plumbing code or more importantly read instructions on how to properly use irish plumbing who knows how they have been managing without gaelge its a disgrace, people like our mary will keep our wee nation safe and solvent, oh btw GM how is that all the turbo charged high powered wimmminn in oirland are all MARYS some holier than others CHEERS -BH

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, there's something about "Mary", BH.

Ella, I mean Mary said...

Right that's it, I'm changing my name from Ella to Mary and then perhaps my career might go stellar like the aforementioned turbo powered wimmin.

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, Ella. Mary Devils, Mary Harney, Mary Hanafin, Mary Coughlan, Mary Robinson, Mary Banotti, Mary O'Rourke, The Virgin Mary and of course, Mary Magdalene.

All Marys that feature/have featured prominently in Irish life.

Lew said...

I would take what she said as "Being a rscist remark"
Even if it wasnt meant as such, im sure some would have taken it that way

what she said was totally wrong and uncalled for.

What punishment is there in Ireland these days for being openly racist?

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, Lew. At the very, very best, it's a highly inappropriate one. But these people can say what they like with impunity.

And as far as cost-cutting goes, if Devins is so keen in it, I would like to see the judicial system reformed root and branch.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand we have a Judge who reckons upholding the law is not his job and that Supermarkets should "deal with it themselves"

On the other hand look what happens when someone takes his advice

Anonymous said...

if you think what judge devins does in the public court is bad, you should see what she does in the family one - reporters are barred by law and that's where she turns into a right little psycho....