March/April  3
n October 2021, Village detailed four incidents
where retired Tralee District Court Judge James
O’Connor is alleged to have had improper contact
with women who appeared in his family court.
Other media have reported another five allegations,
making up to nine.
One of the women is still trying to push her case with
the Garda. In July 2021 Village had reported that a
woman had appeared family proceedings in Judge James
O’Connor’s District Court in Tralee, that the judge had
said in open court that he needed her number, so at her
solicitor’s urging she gave it to him and that he
subsequently texted her to say she had looked beautiful
in his court. She met him on a number of occasions. She
said she was afraid to say no since he had not resolved
the case and she would need to go back into court.
Paul Murphy asked a question of the Taoiseach who
appeared scandalised and agreed to look into it.
Another woman described how Judge O’Connor had
found a reason to clear his court and then had leaned
forward and said “C’mere, while they are gone: would
you ever go and have a cup of coee with me?”.
A third woman described how the judge “approached
her repeatedly, and “on one occasion lunged at me
outside the court. I pushed him and left. He obviously
felt he could have done anything he wanted to”.
In early October Mick Cliord in the Irish Examiner
exposed a fourth case of a woman who claimed that she
met Judge O’Connor in a supermarket. “He told me to
wait outside the door for him. Outside, he asked me for
my phone number. What could I do? You’re on your own
with small kids and he’s the judge.
The first woman had contacted Harcourt Square Garda
Station Dublin in April 2018. Detectives from the Special
Crimes Operations Branch met her in Tralee in May 2018,
In the end she says a Detective Sergeant told her there
was nothing to investigate and that it was “a
normal situation, boy meets girl.
The woman complained to the President and
half the cabinet, Leo Varadkar, Charlie Flanagan
(former Minister for Justice), Brendan Grin, the
President of the District Court, and Chief Justice
Frank Clarke but she had “not received much
acknowledgment or help. The judges kicked for
touch, saying improper contact was contrary to
the “Bangalore principles”.
She also lodged a formal complaint with the
Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission
(“GSOC”) in March 2019. It decided that there
was no criminal element to the matter and ruled
out any further action. GSOC found no evidence
that Garda officers had mishandled her
Given how useless all this is, the woman’s
solicitors, KRWLaw are now pursuing the State
under heads including:
breach of the Data Protection Act 2018; breach of the
woman’s constitutional rights including under Article
38.1 (fair trial) and Article 40.3.2º (privacy); breach of
s.3(1) of Ireland’s European Convention on Human Rights
Act 2003; and the tort (a civil not criminal oence) of
misfeasance in public oce.
Village suggested that given the abject inecacy of
all these agencies of State, she go back to the Garda,
who may have considered only the crime of harassment
and ask for the case to be pursued for the Common Law
oence of Misconduct in Public Oce’. Very simply, that
is what the judge’s scandalous actions most obviously
appears to be.
In 2020 the Irish Times reported that Drew Harris, the
Garda Commissioner, had announced that the Garda
would investigate allegations relating to the 1979
Whiddy disaster, for the crime of misconduct in public
The woman wrote to the Garda Commissioner, Drew
Correspondence from the Garda Corporate Services
Unit on his behalf advises: “If you have any additional
information relating to this matter, which you have not
previously brough to the attention of Gardaí, you may
report it to your local station, or any Garda station
The woman told the Garda she is forwarding additional
This includes the following:
1. As to the law, I have furnished you with the view of the
Garda Commissioner that Misconduct in Public Oce
is a crime.
As to the circumstances, I note that at least three other
women have been reported as having witnessed
similar misconduct from the same judge. They are
mentioned in the report I furnished to you. At least one
of them would give information to any inquiry. I can
give details of this.
3. As to the circumstances, I understand the Garda did
not actually look at the phone I gave them which
contains the key evidence of Judge O’Connor’s
misconduct. I can furnish that phone.
4. As to evidence, I have since learnt the names of the
lawyers who spoke to Judge O’Connor when I was with
him outside the Court in Tralee. Their evidence would
corroborate my story.
I have also discovered the name of the clerk on key
dates when I was before Judge O’Connor. I believe she
could give key evidence. That too is new information”.
Having been all around the houses in the body politic
of Ireland, this heroic woman is back in the hands of An
Garda Síochána.
Try Harder Garda
Issue 76
March 2022
Chllenging he endemiclly
complcen nd ohers by
he cue promoion of
equliy, susinbiliy nd
Michel Smih
Lenny Rooney
Boylns, Droghed,
Co Louh
Ormond Quy Publishing
 Ormond Quy Upper,
Dublin 
State has so far failed a woman who alleges Judge James O’Connor
miscontucted himself in office by making repeated contact with her
though she was a vulnerable litigant in family law before him
Improper messge from the judge


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