Go to the High Court over Irish, man told

The District Court judge dealing with the case against a councillor accused of blacking out street names in Cork called after Queen Victoria told him to go to the High Court if he wanted to raise the issue of having a judge fluent in Irish for the case.

Go to the High Court over Irish, man told

Judge Olann Kelleher said: “I have already decided this twice with Mr Ó Cadhla. I am entitled to hear it through an interpreter. This is the third time I adjudicated on it. You can bring it to the High Court and get an order prohibiting me.”

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla, aged 56, of 8 Upper Beaumont Drive, Ballintemple, Cork, faces five counts of criminal damage to street signs at three locations in Cork City.

Mr Ó Cadhla is charged with two counts of criminal damage at Victoria Road, two counts of criminal damage at Victoria Cross and one count of criminal damage at Victoria Street, Military Hill, in Cork City on February 2.

He represented himself on two previous court appearances. Yesterday he was represented by barrister Pat Barrett.

Mr Barrett said that apart from the submission that the case should be heard by a judge fluent in Irish there was a separate submission in relation to the criminal damage charge against the defendant.

“There is no translation online for the criminal damage charge. I cannot advise him [on whether to plead guilty or not guilty] until I have a translation online,” Mr Barrett said.

Judge Kelleher said: “I don’t accept that. This man conducted his business in English fully before me [previously].”

Mr Barrett said it was not a whether he understood English, it was a matter of electing to have the case heard through Irish.

Judge Kelleher said: “Go to the High Court and get me stopped and I won’t hear the case. I cannot say fairer than that.”

The case was listed for hearing at Cork District Court on January 19, 2018. Two co-accused, Thomas O’Connor, aged 56, from 44 Mangerton Close, the Glen, and Tony Walsh, aged 52, from 25 Carrigmore Park, Ballinlough, both indicated not guilty pleas and their cases were previously listed for the same date.

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