Lessons from the bench: Reflections from a career spent on the Irish Criminal Court Judge Gillian Hussey Gill, €19.99
udge Gillian Hussey is known by some of his colleagues on the bench as “Pastor Mother” – and by another (female) judge as “that Hussey bitch”.
In her memoirs, the only girl ever non-believer at Loreto School in Foxrock, Co Dublin, appears as caring and compassionate, but with a distinctive character and a photographic memory for faces, one that has served her for over 18 years in various fields. Dublin Court.
She wrote: “Bridewell is a small but majestic building built of Wicklow granite… but inside it is chaos. “There seem to be a lot of people, detectives, hunters, criminals, legal folk of all kinds.”
What she doesn’t say is that only criminals, guards, and legitimate people understand what’s going on inside – and witnesses and victims are left alone to their own devices, something Gillian said. Hussey made many changes during her tenure on the bench. .
She wrote: “One of the first cases I heard of involving John Gilligan, who would become a major drug trafficker, was involved in the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin. He is a boastful man who “proudly declares that he has never worked a day in his life”.
When Christy Kinahan, the founder of the drug cartel that bears his name, told her he couldn’t appear in court on a certain date because he was at work, she asked what he was doing: “I carpenter, Judge,” he replied. .
“I gave him a sharp look and said, ‘I wouldn’t want you around my house.’ I could see Gardaí’s stiff smile there. “
She also has to deal with the expanding Cahill clan, whose leader, Martin, is known as The General. In retaliation for one of her statements, they slashed the tires of every car on her road, but missed her because she had parked in the back.
She also dealt with the disgusting pedophile “singing” priest, Father Tony Walsh, on charges of sexually abusing a young boy. She tells how she watched him intently throughout the evidence-taking process and, despite denials and alibi from a prison officer, was found guilty and sentenced him to 12 months in prison. “I shudder to think how easily things could have gone the other way,” she wrote.
On a lighter note, she recounted presiding over a state prosecution against the Well Woman Center for selling condoms. In case she doesn’t know what they are, a package is given to her as proof. When the hearing ended, she forgot to return them, until Gerry Danaher SC, who is prosecuting, asked, “Do you need those, judge?”
This is an illuminating book about the judiciary and her own journey, as a single mother, to understand the people she has to deal with every day, by meeting them on the street, in the community. their comrades and in prison. It’s fair to say she did some public service, and in her 80s is still doing so.
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https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/book-reviews/kinahan-cahill-singing-priest-judges-memoir-is-full-of-conviction-41975867.html Kinahan, Cahill, Monk sing: Judge’s memoirs are full of conviction