Man remanded in custody after being charged with attacking judge in family law court

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Judge Miriam Walsh
Judge Miriam Walsh

A 31-YEAR-OLD man charged with attacking Judge Miriam Walsh during a family law court hearing in Dublin on Friday has been remanded in custody.

Judge Walsh had been presiding over a case involving two parents and their adult son in which a protection order was sought; the proceedings were at the district court in Dolphin House in central Dublin.

The judge was allegedly punched and kicked and brought to hospital however her injuries were not serious and she was later released.

Gardai arrested a male who was involved in the case on Friday and he was later charged with assault causing harm to Judge Walsh.

He was held in custody overnight and brought to appear before Judge Patrick Clyne at Dublin District Court on Saturday morning. Det Gda Francis Byrne said the man “made no reply” when he was charged with the offence.

Defence solicitor Peter Connolly moved a bail application however the court heard there was a garda objection to the accused getting released on the grounds of the seriousness of the offence.

It was alleged Judge Walsh had been assaulted in court and was punched and kicked, and suffered bruising.

The garda agreed with Mr Connolly that the assault was allegedly carried out on a judge in the family court. He confirmed the defendant had never been in trouble before and has no history of bench warrants for failing to attend hearings. Mr Connolly argued that the bail objection was unsustainable but an address for his client was the only issue.

Mr Connolly said the man's parents had been taking out a protection and safety order, which was awarded for five years, and had reservations about him being in their home.

He said the defendant, who is from Dublin, has Asperger syndrome and was vulnerable.

Judge Clyne deferred the bail application until Tuesday (Dec 15) and said the man would have to have a suitable address, and he wanted evidence of a treatment plan being in place for him.

Legal aid was granted.

Meanwhile a spokesman for the Court Service said "security systems are in place in courts at the venue and were operational. This allowed gardai to intervene and make an arrest".