Documentary film-maker Gemma O’Doherty was ordered out of a court yesterday when she offered to give evidence in a case involving three members of one family.
Ms O’Doherty, who is showing her documentary on Ireland’s longest-missing person, six-year-old Mary Boyle, in towns around Ireland, was ordered out of Ballyshannon District Court by Judge Kevin Kilrane when he was threatening to jail one member of a family, Joe McNulty, for contempt of court.
Ms O’Doherty stepped from the back of the court as Mr McNulty was asking the judge to make a letter from a deceased garda, Michael Lawless, available for his defence and that of his father Thomas McNulty and mother Florence McNulty.
Ms O’Doherty said: “I think as an Irish citizen I have a right to give evidence in relation to this letter.”
The judge, who said this was the first time the letter had been mentioned after a series of adjournments for discoveries, said discovery was now closed.
He ordered Ms O’Doherty out of the court.
Her interruption in the case came during a series of allegations by the McNulty family, including a claim of injustice, and about the charges being on file since February 2014 despite their efforts to get a hearing.
Thomas McNulty, 58, and his son Joseph, 34, both of Bundoran, are accused of threatening behaviour to provoke a breach of the peace in Bundoran on February 10, 2014.
Ms McNulty, 57, is also accused of assaulting Garda Helen Munnelly on the same date.
She said: “We need that letter to defend ourselves. Michael Lawless was a good, honest garda.
“He talked about untouchables,” she added.
The family’s defence solicitor James Corbett told the court that he was withdrawing from representation.
Ms McNulty said: “We are getting legal advice from Gemma O’Doherty.”
Judge Kilrane adjourned the hearing to September 30 and requested gardaí to attempt to find the letter.
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