No pressure on DoJ official in burglary claim

No pressure on DoJ official in burglary claim

A civil servant who suggested Irish judges don’t treat burglary as a serious offence was not pressured to make a subsequent apology, the Department of Justice has said.

Jimmy Martin, a member of the department’s management board, wrote to the President of the District Court, Judge Rosemary Horgan, to apologise for his comments, which were made during an appearance before the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Mr Martin had said: “Our perception is that the judiciary didn’t view burglary as a serious offence.”

Noel Waters, the department’s acting secretary general, has since been forced to deny suggestions that Mr Martin was pressured by department bosses to apologise for the astonishing remarks.

In a letter to the PAC, Mr Waters wrote: “I am happy to clarify that there is no question whatsoever of the official in question being taken to task by the department.”

He also said Mr Martin’s letter had been written “entirely of his own volition”.

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