The Family Court

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Patrick Gageby SC

A former solicitor who was due to be sentenced today for stealing €260,000 from client accounts has had her case adjourned after a Dublin Circuit Court judge said she could not pass sentence due to family connections.

A previous court hearing was told that 47-year-old Jacqueline Durcan from Co Mayo and now living in Brussels, was in debt for €6.5 million after a series of failed investments when the offence occurred between 2008 and 2011.

She had pleaded guilty and was due to be sentenced today.

However, Judge Melanie Greally said a “set of circumstances had arisen” and it appeared there were connections between her wider family and Durcan’s wider family and it would not be appropriate for her to deal with the case.

Judge Greally said the case would now have to be dealt with by another judge…

Defence barrister, Patrick Gageby SC, said his client and her husband were in the difficult position of owing €6.5 million to the banks at the time of the offence.

“This young couple over-reached themselves during the property bubble,” he said. “They made a series of ventures which brought catastrophic circumstances on themselves and their family.”

Judge stands aside from solicitor sentencing (RTÉ)

Justice Declan Costello conducted the judicial review and held that Mr (George) Gibney’s right to a fair trial would be infringed if the prosecution were to be proceeded with.

He granted an order precluding the DPP from proceeding with the charges.

An opportunity to appeal the decision was declined by Eamonn Barnes, then Director of Public Prosecutions.

George Gibney left Ireland – travelling first to Scotland, where he coached young swimmers, and then to America.

What went unreported at the time of the Supreme Court decision and what few outside the legal fraternity knew, least of all Mr Gibney’s alleged victims, was that Susan Denham, sister of Patrick Gageby, was on the bench that day.

Ms Denham was in ‘complete agreement’ with the majority judgement…

The Chief Justice, Her Brother And How George Gibney Got Away (Broadsheet, April 29, 2016)

Good times.

Meanwhile: Chief justice rejects criticism on judicial reform (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

11 thoughts on “The Family Court

  1. Clampers Outside

    Said before and I’ll say it again, the law profession in Ireland is highly incestuous and we need to make it more accessible if we are to see genuine independence of its’ practitioners…. get rid of the devil system!

    1. SB

      100% agree, the devilling system ensures it’s only the golden circle and their children that can afford to become barristers. While we’re at it, the ridiculous wigs and gowns should be eliminated. I know they’re currently optional, but I don’t think any of them chooses not to wear them. I don’t see why they should choose to wear a 17th century style wigs over, say, a 2000bc lioncloth, or a Elizabethan-era “ruff” collar

  2. Frida

    Ah for god’s sake. Almost everyone in Ireland has family connections with everyone else. The judge was correct in declaring the connection. What more could anyone expect from her and why is this newsworthy?

  3. Boy M5

    Surely she should never have even heard the case in the first place. How she conducted that case alone could be helpful to the accused.

    1. Rob_G

      I can only presume that the family connection is a slightly tenuous one – as in, you wouldn’t agree to hear a case that involved your aunt or your cousin, but it could turn out that the person’s in-law was married to your cousin, something like that, that you would not realise before going to trial.

      (Of course, I know that an answer like this won’t satisfy you, and you are just looking for yet another reason to be outraged, but there you go…)

      1. dav

        “What went unreported at the time of the Supreme Court decision and what few outside the legal fraternity knew, least of all Mr Gibney’s alleged victims, was that Susan Denham, sister of Patrick Gageby, was on the bench that day.”

        yeah nothing to see here, move along, everything is ok..

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