Not sure what they’re putting in the water in the Four Courts these days, but the latest row in Dublin is over the so-called Golfgate controversy after the Chief Justice Frank Clarke put correspondence in the public domain between himself and Mr Justice Seamus Woulfe into the public domain…
I’m no legal expert, but it seems to me that this is just another in a series of phantom crises. Patrick O’Brien from Oxford Brooke’s University on RTÉ’s Drivetime Programme (about 45 mins) seems to capture the sheer strangeness of the whole thing:
If clear that Mr Justice Woulfe was not willing to resign I’m not really sure that much benefit has come from saying publicly that the Chief Justice thought that he should resign. Either the matter is serious enough for him to be dismissed, ie, impeached by the Oireachtas, or it isn’t.
As Mr Justice Woulf says in his part of the correspondence:
I intensely dislike having to comment further on these matters in this way as my objective is to avoid or minimise issues of disagreement, and I cannot see that this already protracted correspondence can be good for either of us or for the Court or the public interest, let alone its publication.
I think, though I might be wrong, that that’s the top and tail of the matter…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty