Daly dismisses warrant for her arrest as a ‘distraction’

Independents4Change TD Clare Daly has dismissed, as a “distraction”, the issuing of a bench warrant for her arrest, saying she will “deal with the matter in due course”.

Daly dismisses warrant for her arrest as a ‘distraction’

A bench warrant was issued yesterday afternoon for the arrest of the Dublin Fingal TD, slammed by a district court judge for showing “disrespect”.

Speaking in Leinster House, Ms Daly said she did attend Naas District Court yesterday morning but left to be in the Dáil for the job she was elected to do.

“My solicitor was there and I will have to go back in a couple of weeks and deal with this matter then. I couldn’t stay there all day. I had to be back here at Leinster House to be at the committee and my other work,” she told the Irish Examine.

On New Year’s day this year, at Ballymany Newbridge, Co Kildare, Ms Daly, with an address at Elmwood Drive, Swords, was detected driving at a speed of 59kph in a 50kph zone.

Inspector Mel Smyth said Ms Daly had no previous convictions. Solicitor Cairbre Finan told the court Ms Daly was not present, but had come into court to instruct him to plead guilty on her behalf.

When Judge Zaidan asked if she had given any reasons, Mr Finan said that she had not given any. The judge said: “She saw how busy we were. A member of the Oireachtas came in and left, what kind of respect is that?”

Her solicitor argued Ms Daly did not mean any disrespect to the court. Mr Finan said because it was the first day of the court hearing, a week’s adjournment could be requested.

Judge Desmond Zaidan refused an adjournment.

He said: “I have adjourned people who have been absent before and then they don’t turn up and they are blaming everyone. I have stopped that to protect everyone, why should she be exempt?”

A bench warrant was issued for her arrest.

Ms Daly has been an arch critic of Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and her court appearance came 24 hours after the two women squared off at the Oireachtas Justice Committee.

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