Travellers rights group Pavee Point is calling for a judge to resign over what it describes as "prehistoric" comments made in a case with a Traveller defendant.
Pavee Point said Athlone District Court Judge Seamus Hughes commented that some people from the defendant's ethnic background were "like Neanderthal men abiding by the 'laws of the jungle'".
In a statement Pavee Point said: "We condemn the comments of Judge Hughes. They reflect a prehistoric mind-set that has no place in modern Irish society."
Judge Hughes is no stranger to controversy. He remarked in a previous case that "social welfare is handed out like snuff at a wake".
Pavee Point has said Judge Hughes should resign with immediate effect.
The centre's director Ronnie Fay said Travellers might now feel they would not get a fair trial in cases presided over by him.
"Everybody's entitled to a free trial, no matter what your ethnic background is," she said. "We'd be concerned that travellers would not have confidence in (Judge Hughes) or that they could get a fair trial given his comments about the Traveller community."
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