Bar room justice is embarrassing

YESTERDAY’S staging of a district court sitting in a Clare pub is a pretty accurate reflection of how seriously we take our legal and justice systems.

That a man with 321 driving convictions appeared at that sitting confirms an air of farce that would defy all but the most brilliant comic writers.

It is not the end of the world that a society facing as many pressing issues as this one might occasionally and temporarily hold a court sitting in a pub, but that we are doing so two years after the Courts Service promised to bring this practice to an end shows our whole system in a pretty poor, unattractive light.

That any person with 312 previous convictions might be at liberty to incur more is pretty silly too and must undermine the faith we can have in the effectiveness of our justice and prison systems. If a foreign TV company portrayed us in these Paddywhackery terms we’d be offended — and rightly so — but we inflict it on ourselves.

How very stupid and revealing is that?


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