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Protest planned at home of Westport judge


TARGET District Court Judge Seamus Hughes.

Neill O’Neill

A protest is being planned to take place at the home of a Westport resident and judge of the District Court this weekend by a group called Anti-Corruption Taskforce (ACT).
Organised publicly on social media, the group is planning to assemble ‘outside SuperValu car park in Westport at 11am’ on Sunday and then proceed to the home of District Court Judge Seamus Hughes, which is in the town.
ACT says this will be the first of many actions it plans to undertake and has branded it as ‘the very first of its kind in the history of the state.’ It is also stated online that a large crowd is expected to attend, and public transport schedules to and from Westport are made available for those planning to go. It is further stated that Judge Hughes’s ‘work is going to follow him home’ amongst other comments and accusations of impropriety.
The event is named ‘Seamus Hughes Home Peaceful Assembly’ but is referred to as a protest by the group, who it is believed will have placards and literature on the subject of their protest and the reasons behind it. Similar events have occurred outside courthouses, and ACT has become increasingly active across Ireland in recent times.
Earlier this year Judge Hughes jailed two men for seven days in Athlone District Court for contempt after saying he had been willfully insulted. One of them was Joe Doocey, who is a well-known anti-corruption lobbyist and campaigner from Ballina. The men were released in the High Court 48 hours later. It is understood that local Gardaí are aware of the protest planned for this Sunday.