Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern confirmed today that Judge Brian Curtin’s name was on a list of suspected paedophiles before his appointment to the bench.
He also admitted he was not certain if the Judicial Appointments Board carried out routine security checks.
“A Brian Curtin from Tralee, Co Kerry, was one of over 100 names on an Interpol list received in August 2001,” he said.
“But gardaí were not to know he was a senior counsel being considered by the Board to be appointed to the bench.”
He said gardaí would have had no way of knowing Judge Curtin’s position and thus had not advised the then Justice Minister John O’Donoghue of his inclusion on the list.
Judge Curtin was appointed to the bench in November 2001 and was prosecuted in May 2002 for being knowingly in possession of child pornography.
He was later acquitted of the charges when his trial collapsed.
It emerged the Garda warrant used to search his Tralee home was out of date.
Mr Ahern said it was “highly unlikely” security checks were carried out on those being considered for the judiciary.
He said even if they were, in this case, Judge Curtin would almost certainly have escaped attention as he did not have a criminal conviction.
Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny said the latest revelations highlighted a major shortfall in the judicial appointments procedure.
“It is clear that the Judicial Appointments Board has the power to consult with persons concerning the suitability of applicants,” he said.
“The apparent failure to do so highlights a major shortfall in the operation of that board when recommending such sensitive appointments.”
He said if contact had been made it would appear the appointment would not have been made and asked Mr Ahern to examine the apparent gap in the system.
Ireland’s criminals and elitists, accused of paedophilia, are found not guilty on the basis of a legal technicality and walk free from court!
“Trial of judge Curtin collapses”
23 April 2004 20:00
The trial of the Circuit Court judge Brian Curtin on charges of possessing child pornography has collapsed.
Judge Curtin has been found not guilty by direction of the trial judge Carroll Moran. The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Judge Moran found that gardaí raided Mr Curtin’s home after the search warrant had expired. He said the State had to have been aware that the warrant had expired.
In his seven page written judgement, Judge Moran described the submissions made by the prosecution on the validity of the search warrant as ‘untenable and nonsensical’.
He said the prosecution must have known or at least ought to have known that on any reasonable interpretation of the issues any judge in any court would have excluded the relevant evidence.
Judge Moran said the law was crystal clear and the issue could not be simpler.
He said it was wrong for the prosecution to bring this case to trial when they knew or ought to have known that the warrant had expired and the evidence collected as a result of the execution of the warrant would have been inadmissible.
Questioned about the court ruling in relation to the warrant, a garda spokesman said they accepted the judgement of the court.
The spokesman said garda management will be examining the judgement in relation to how it affects the gardaí operationally.”
The Non-Impeachment of Judge Brian Curtin
The judge resigns on the First Day of the Impeachment Process.
The resignation tabled by Justice Curtin, therefore, removes from the
Judge Curtin does not now have to be impeached and retains a handsome State
The Committee was set up by Tanaiste and Minister For Justice Michael Mc Dowell
In this instance the work of the Committee is necessarily stopped.
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