The legal system in Ireland, of which judges are a cornerstone, keeps puzzling me. I haven’t checked yet how judges are chosen, but whoever does the choosing must be some odd ball or alternatively these judges become odd balls themselves only AFTER they are appointed.
The Irish Times reported about the case of a bachelor farmer in County Kerry and the Irish Examiner had a slightly different interpretation of the story. The guy is called John O’Shea and he is 60 years of age. In July 2014 he went from Mastergeeha to Waterville (approx. 9km) to get food for his cows and drank too much when discussing football. On the way home, he drove into a ditch and was found to have nearly four (!!) times the legal alcohol limit in his blood (198mg). The penalty for that will be a a 3-year driving ban and luckily, the judge didn’t indicate that he plans to deviate from that.
The solicitor asked for the driving ban to be delayed until after the summer and here starts the oddness. It seems that the solicitor asked for the delay so that the farmer can look after the cows, but the judge seemed to have suggested the 60 year old never-married farmer should find a “nice woman” that will drive him around and – possibly seeing the opportunity – the solicitor quickly suggested that he could go to Lisdoonvarna to the matchmaking festival if he still had a car for the summer.
It seems that there is a lot of stupid-talk in court rooms in Ireland and it also could be that the solicitor just saw the opportunity that the judge provided and jumped on it without having planned to go for the “find a woman” reason for the delay.
But it really makes you wonder about the ability of Irish judges to do their job. This farmer had FOUR times the amount of alcohol in himself than he should have, so he didn’t just drink a little bit more than he knew he should have, but he filled himself up. Luckily nobody got hurt, but is it really the right message a judge should send??