Seamus Woulfe calls coverage of Clifden golf event 'fake and overblown'

ireland
Seamus Woulfe Calls Coverage Of Clifden Golf Event 'Fake And Overblown'
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Digital Desk staff

Supreme Court justice Seamus Woulfe complained last month that the 'hysteria' around the Clifden golf event is damaging to the court itself.

As reported by the Irish Times, his comments came during a September 8th meeting with former Supreme Court chief justice Susan Denham, who recently ruled it would be “unjust and disproportionate” if he was called to resign.

She expressed the view that Mr Justice Woulfe should have attended the golf event without attending the dinner and should not have accepted the dinner invitation.

According to a transcript of the meeting between them, Mr Justice said last month that “Unfortunately I think even judges are not above prejudging, Judge, and in this mood of hysteria I can’t be sure that even some of my colleagues have prejudged me.

“I think it’s more damaging to the Supreme Court if they allow some sort of theoretical damage to the institution prevail over hounding a judge out of office for no valid reason.”

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He also said that press coverage of the Clifden dinner now looked “objectively to be completely fake, overblown”, adding that he felt sorry for the organisers who “had been pilloried” for holding an event that “some way it’s like a Ku Klux Klan”.

Asked if he accepted that the furore occurred after “six months of not going to christenings, not holding weddings, not being able to go to your family’s funerals”, Mr Justice Woulfe said he did.

“This was a very unfortunate set of circumstances and unfortunate timing. And for those people to be presented by the media with what appeared to be a flagrant breach of the regulations and the guidelines was like letting off a bomb,” he said.

Meanwhile, a number of Supreme Court judges met Mr Justice Woulfe on Friday to discuss the resolution of the controversy over his attendance at August’s Oireachtas Golf Society dinner.

It is understood Mr Justice Woulfe is to consider what was said to him over the weekend and is likely to meet early next week with Chief Justice Frank Clarke.

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