A judge who was subjected to a man exposing himself in front of him in court demanded heightened security at future court sittings.
In court last Friday, Ennis man Brian Joyce, aged 21, mooned Judge Patrick Durcan. As he slapped his bare backside, Joyce shouted, “Up the Joyces! Up the Clare Joyces!”
Mr Joyce, of St Enda’s, Beechpark, then turned around to expose his penis to the judge and court.
Mr Joyce’s actions — coming after Judge Durcan refused bail to his brother, John Joyce, aged 18, of St Enda’s, Beechpark — sparked a melee during which a garda was allegedly the subject of an assault.
Judge Durcan suspended court sittings and went to his chambers. On his return, he said what had occurred “was the worst outbreak of violence I have ever witnessed in a court either as a practitioner or as a judge”.
Judge Durcan said that behaviour in the courtroom had “sunk to a level of depravity that I’ve never encountered before”.
Yesterday, in the first sitting since Friday, Judge Durcan told the court there was “an appalling breakdown in security” in court on Friday, describing the events as “shameful”.
He warned that he will not sit at the district and family law courts in Ennis in future if the identity of the court guard is not presented to him beforehand.
He told Insp Tom Kennedy: “I have made no demands, as you know, in the four years in matters of this nature, but events that occurred here last Friday put the sitting court registrar at great risk and disrupted the business of the court.
“That type of situation should not be allowed to occur again. It is something that should have been anticipated.
“I am making my position very clear: I am not going to hang around if the facility of the court guard is not available when the court sits.
“As you know, I am concerned to ensure that the registrar, the gardaí themselves, the public, and practitioners are protected from what occurred here last Friday. Either the Chief Superintendent takes it seriously or he doesn’t — that is entirely a matter for the administration of law and order in this county.”
Last Friday, Judge Durcan remanded both Joyces in custody on an assault charge to appear again today.
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