For the first time a profoundly deaf person will be allowed to serve on a jury at the Central Criminal Court in Ireland.
Justice Paul Carney has ruled that Mr Senan Dunne, a teacher who is deaf, will be allowed to serve on a jury with help from an interpreter.
The judge did acknowledge that foresaw some difficulties. He pointed out that there could be possible objections to having 13 people in the jury room. The interpreter would have to take an out and the foreman would be responsible to ensure that only what was going on during deliberations was being translated.
In 2008 the law which banned deaf people from serving on juries was altered. Now it is just the practicalities which deaf jurors must overcome.
Mr Dunne’s lawyer, Michael Farrell told the Irish Times that for juries to represent the Irish people deaf people could not be excluded.
Unfortunately, Mr Dunne did not get the chance to serve in this jury as the defendant’s legal team objected to him. He remains on the jury panel for other cases.