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Judge tells defendant court will not be his soapbox


Members of the public were forcibly removed from a courtroom in Castlebar Courthouse last Wednesday after a judge refused to hear an application from a member of Integrity Ireland.
Two members of Integrity Ireland, Stephen Manning of Forthill, Ballyhaunis and Colm Granaghan of Ballyduane, Kincon, Ballina appeared before Castlebar District Court where they were charged with a public order offence arising from an incident in Castlebar Courthouse on September 2, 2015.
During the short hearings, the two defendants, who were representing themselves, made a number of applications to the court which included serving a subpoena on Superintendent Joe McKenna to appear as a witness in the case.
Judge Devins told the two defendants that she was not dealing with the case and was adjourning it to June 15 to fix a date for hearing. She explained that any applications made to her would not be appropriate and any applications should be made to the trial judge.
Despite this, Mr Manning requested to record the court proceedings which was denied by Judge Devins after he claimed he did not trust the court transcripts of previous sittings. He also claimed he received injuries after he alleged he was assaulted by a garda in a Dublin courthouse and asked Judge Devins if she could give an undertaking he would not be assaulted in the court.
Judge Devins told Mr Manning that she cannot and will not respond to this and also asked the defendant to stop barracking her. Mr Manning denied barracking her and said he was speaking clearly and respectfully.
Mr Manning also questioned Judge Mary Devins if she was the right person to deal with the case after he claimed he was seeking to have her impeached.
Judge Devins told Mr Manning she was not dealing with the case and was ‘simply adjourning it’ and would not ‘give you a soapbox’.
“If you continue with this, I will rise. I have given you every chance. .. any further applications will be made to the trial judge who will be someone other than myself,” she said.
When Mr Manning claimed Judge Devins was denying him his right to speak, she rose which led to unruly schemes in the courtroom when supporters of Mr Manning were removed by gardaí.
Earlier, Vincent Deane, solicitor for the State explained that he proposed to call eleven witnesses and Mr Granaghan said he would be calling 30 witnesses. He also asked for the garda numbers of all the gardaí who were in court that date.
Judge Devins said it appeared a special court would be needed which may last several days.