There was dignified chaos at the opening day of this term’s sitting of Mullingar Circuit Court when barristers, solicitors, and defendants were unable to appear on Tuesday (November 30 ) because of the weather.
It led to Judge Anthony Kennedy cancelling a jury panel for Wednesday and postponing two trials until the new year.
He made his decision despite what he called “regrettable pressure” on the court list.
There were general giggles in court when the judge congratulated solicitor Louis Kiernan for “popping up” shortly before midday.
The judge later expressed the hope that since Mr Kiernan had managed to dig his way out of a snow drift, Mr Tony McLynn might be able to burrow his way to court.
The court had earlier heard that the Athlone-based solicitor had turned back from his trip to Tullamore where the court is sitting, after he was rescued by a passing tractor. He appeared after lunch.
A number of defendants too were unable to make it to court, with some citing problems with public transport.
However gardaí suggested that one man who claimed to be unable to make it because of the weather, probably had no intention of coming at all.
Liam Ward of Meeting Place Lane in Mullingar may even have absconded, John Hayden for the prosecution told Judge Anthony Kennedy.
He requested a bench warrant for Ward who is charged with demanding money with menaces, in the region of €50,000 from William Ward senior in 2007.
Investigating Garda John Stack, now based in Tallaght, said Ward is not in custody and that gardaí do not believe he is living at his latest address. His children have left the local school.
Noting that he hadn’t been detained by the snow, Judge Kennedy issued the bench warrant.