Friday, 3 August 2012

Devins' latest anti-Polish remarks. Sack her... or can such a thing occur?

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?”

Gombeen Nation, September 30th, 2010.

See original post  Judge Mary Devins questions Polish Interpretation

Devins has form when it comes to Polish People living in Ireland.   Last week, you will all know by now, she heard the case of a man who had called a security guard a "fat Polish fucker"  (the security guard was, in fact, Irish.  Whether he was circumferentially challenged or not is unknown).

The issuer of the not-very-clever remark was up before Devins, having pleaded guilty at a previous court sitting before another judge, who had ordered the offender pay €1,000 to a Polish charity.   When the question came up as to whether there was a Polish charity in Ireland, Devins quipped:

"A Polish charity? There is. It's called the social welfare".   

Cue spontaneous guffaws and hoots of laughter from the assembled, upstanding gobshites of Castlebar District Court. 

Devins has since been forced to "apologise".  

An apology is not enough.  She is simply not suited to such a responsible role, and any Polish person coming before her cannot expect fair treatment in her courtroom.

As she will not resign - this, remember, is someone who parked on double yellow lines outside her own courtroom while throwing the book at errant motorists up before her  - she should be sacked.

Which brings us back to the question asked back in 2010:  "Who judges the judges?"

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John said...

I quote from Dr Eamonn G. Hall, Solicitor :

“A judge may be removed from office for stated misbehaviour or incapacity, but only after resolutions calling for his or her removal have been passed by the Dail and the Senate.10 There is provision for a judicial enquiry into the conduct of condition of health of a judge of the District Court. 11 The Chief Justice is authorised to exercise a disciplinary function over judges of the District Court where he is of the opinion that the conduct of a judge of the District Court has brought the administration of justice into disrepute. The Chief Justice may interview the justice in private and inform him or her of his opinion”

This has never happened in the history of this State. The closest we came was in the 2004 case of the Circuit Court judge Brian Curtin, who was tried for possessing images of child pornography. After the case collapsed, the question of whether Curtin could continue as a judge became the focus of political and legal dispute. An impeachment motion was launched in the Dáil in 2004 by Minister for Justice Michael McDowell. Curtin resigned in 2006 on grounds of ill health, and the motion lapsed.,

Judges are political appointees and unlike Germany, where judges are trained to be judges and sit exams, we do not have this system and judges learn on the job . As a law graduate and someone who will be practising law in the UK, I believe that the comments made by this judge are a disgrace to the concept of justice and she should explain her comments to the Chief justice . One interesting point is that in future, if any Polish national comes before her, I would suggest that the representing Solicitor could move to have the case heard by another Judge due to the nature of the comments she has made.

Anonymous said...

Yes, as you state, sacking her is the only option - how can this woman be expected to pass impartial judgement on any Polish person now?
It's got me thinking as to what other prejudices she may have.
It's been my experience that people with racist tendencies towards one group tend to have them towards others too: For example,scratch the surface of an Anglophobe and you'll very often find that they also dislike Africans or Asians, or whatever. Anti-semites are very often anti a lot of other races too.
I'd hate to be up in front of this narrow-minded creature, as in spite of my Irish name and passport, I fear that my very BBC accent might antagonise her in some way.
I suppose that, like most of our politicians and 'elite', she will not do the decent thing and offer to resign?
I'd be extremely surprised, it'd be the first time any of her ilk would have shown shame, humility or moral fibre.
But who knows, maybe I will be proved wrong?
I Won't hold my breath.
It's truly shocking and disappointing that someone in a position of power (albeit in a small-town-dim-backwater kinda way)can be so ignorant of other nations. I realise she had recently dealt with a case involving some drunken Polish people (never dealt with drunken Irish then, Mary?), but referring to the Social Welfare as a Polish charity is unforgivable. She should feel honoured that anyone from any other country would want to live here - especially with her and her kind inhabiting the place.
I wonder if she is aware that some Irish emigrants end up having to draw the dole in the countries they went to? I'm not blaming them, people are forced to by necessity.
But it's obvious that this awful woman has never had to try to make a go of it anywhere else. Just as well, I'd expect that taking her out of her dismal small town and expecting her to survive would be akin to taking a goldfish out of its bowl.

Dusty (absolutely seething and still waiting for a visa and plane ticket)

Anonymous said...

No wonder things are set up to make it virtually impossible to remove a judge for misconduct or incompetence. If we were to take that first step, and remove this muppet, where would it end?


The Gombeen Man said...

Sorry about the delay in getting the comments up. Been out of the place since this morn and first chance to check blog on the laptop!

@ John. Thanks for that info. So Devins is going to continue in her job and continue picking up her handsome salary until her handsome retirement payments then. What hope have we?

@ Dusty Roads. She's never heard of drunken Irish people nor unemployed Irish people either. Very selective indeed, as most bigots are.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the rant, but this kind of thing really ticks me off.
I worked previously in an industry alongside many Polish people, along with some Czechs, Latvians and Lithuanians. With very few exceptions they were a hard-working honest bunch.

Some of the blatant racism I witnessed being directed at them on a daily basis was absolutely sickening. There was a lot of resentment, the old 'they're working for nothing and taking our jobs' type thing.
I never worked with anyone from Poland et al who wanted to work for less than the going rate.
However I know plenty of Irish employers who wanted them to work for peanuts, or bullied them into working long hours, or forced them into taking on extra duties for no extra pay.
I snapped one day and said to my Irish colleagues all of the above and added, 'You want to know who to blame for taking your jobs, lads? Look to your own. it's not the foreigners. It's an Irish employer that's shafting all of us.'
They stopped talking to me after that. No loss. At least I didn't have to listen to their naive, ignorant ramblings any more.
I suppose I should add that this was the haulage industry, where employees were generally not required to possess fully-functioning powers of reasoning or an IQ higher than 60.
The worst offender was a man who was a returned emigrant himself. This is unusual as one can normally expect a returned emigrant to be a little more tolerant to fellow travellers. But this guy wasn't normal.One day he complained loud and long about 'those foreign f***ers' and in the same breath (you'll find this hard to believe)continued on about his years in the States.
I could do nothing but stare at him in dumb shock and think 'Are you serious !?!'

This has drifted a little bit away from the main subject, the charming, urbane and cosmopolitan Mary (yes, I'm being facetious), but to me she is no more qualified to be a judge than the ignorant lorry driver above.
Yes there are immigrants here who abuse the system, get drunk and cause trouble, but in my experience it's a very small minority.

If Mary had ever had a proper job in her life she'd know that.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ thomas. Sorry thomas - only saw your comment come up now. Yes, it would open up "an appalling vista" for the judiciary...

@ Dusty Roads.
Agree 100% Dusty. I lived in London years back and the likes of the Daily Mail and Daily Express used to be forever going on about Irish "dole scroungers".

There were BNP/C18 supporters in the East End who'd never worked a day of their lives (of their own volition) carping on about foreigners "taking their jobs".

I'd have Devins on her arse down to the dole queue double-quick time. Oh the indignity of it all at wine and cheese parties. ;-)

anna said...

Poles are some of the best of our new Irish- hard working , pleasant, reliable- I'd be very glad to have more.

Dakota said...

GM, Khalil Gibran, said it most succinctly "The reality of the other person lies not in what he reveals to you, but what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says, but rather to what he does not say." Such revelations only occur seldom, among the Irish, but it's indicative of a land GM, where you can't trust oncoming traffic nevermind a Judiciary tied unhealthtly to the party system.

"Who judges the judges?" The same cultural regulators that were watching the Banks etc...No one!

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece by Shaun Connolly in the Examiner today:

Anonymous said...

Wait - this is brilliant, hard to verify the accuracy of it, but if it IS true it would explain her often bizarre outbursts:

The Gombeen Man said...


Anonymous said...

Its a fact that its the system in Ireland again and again that allows appointment by political means that is the problem. Why is politics involved ??? Is it to keep the office free and impartial ? Hmm I wonder !!!!

Kamil said...

Mary Devins again:

"A JUDGE was named in the Dail for having allegedly benefited from the removal of penalty points from her driving licence.

Judge Mary Devins was identified by Clare Daly, despite warnings from the Ceann Comhairle that it could be "defamatory"."