After questioning the judge’s patriotism, professionalism and integrity but not providing any fresh evidence, Noel O’Gara failed in his appeal against a conviction for illegally auditing a number of companies.
The controversial businessman and ground rent speculator from Ballinahown who was convicted last month and fined €3,200, with €1,500 costs, had an additional €1,500 in costs added in the Circuit Court this week (February 24 ) to cover the day in court for the number of officials required by the State to give evidence.
O’Gara claimed his constitutional rights were being infringed when Judge Anthony Kennedy denied him a jury.
“There’s a harp over your head and I don’t think you know what it’s for,” said O’Gara, who then claimed his people had fought for this country.
“You’re trying to behave like a judge in the High Court in London. What are you trying to hide?” O’Gara asked.
He also demanded that Mr Paul Appleby, head of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, be brought to court to explain why he started this “witch hunt” against O’Gara but again the judge refused, deeming the five State witnesses as adequate.
Prosecuting barrister Mr Philipp Rahn, went painstakingly through all the technical evidence outlining how O’Gara had breached Section 187 of the Companies Act 1990 by auditing four companies whilst not qualified to do so.
This was supported by the other witnesses who told the court that at the time of the offences three years ago O’Gara had not been a member of any of the six bodies authorised by the State to conduct audits.
The only fresh evidence brought to the court was the fact that if O’Gara had sought an audit exemption available to small companies with less than 50 employees “none of this would’ve happened”.
The judge upheld the prosecuting evidence, saying: “This is not a mortal sin but a venial sin”.
O’Gara again attempted to bring his pet subject of the Yorkshire Ripper to court and to quote another judge from the pages of a newspaper, but was ordered to stop by Judge Kennedy.
“That’s why I want a jury,” said O’Gara.
“I trust them and I don’t trust judges. You’re turning this into a kangaroo court. You’re leaving me with no option other than a High Court appeal. You’ve denied me all my rights.”
Judge Kennedy disagreed and upheld the conviction.