Judge Mary Devins has apologized for the “semi-racist” comments she made in Castlebar District Court last week comparing Ireland’s social welfare system to a charity for Polish people.
She made the comments while dealing with a local case in Castelbar. Enda Moylette, of Derrycoorane, Islandeady, pled guilty to calling an Irish security guard a “fat Polish f***er”. The case was originally heard by Judge Conal Gibbons.
Moylette agreed to pay €1,000 to a Polish charity in lieu of a fine. When asked if there was a Polish charity operating out of Ireland. The judge replied “A Polish charity? There is. It's called the social welfare."
In her apology Devins said she wished to clarify the comment claiming that it was specific to one incident and she never meant to offend the Polish community in Ireland, according to the Irish Examiner.
The Chairperson of the Irish Polish Society, Anna Szewc, has said that she is outraged at her initial comments. She said comments like these do nothing to help people from other countries integrate with the Irish people.
Killian Forde, from the Dublin-based Integration Centre, said her initial comments were “absolutely disgraceful”. He told the Herald her apology was insufficient.
Forde originally considered making an official complaint to the police about Devins’ comment saying “It's the only way to do it. It's the first time I imagine there has been a judge complained about.”
The Centre called the apology “rambling, contrived and spurious statement,” according the Irish Examiner’s report.
These plans have since been retracted.
The Irish Polish Society also accepted her apology while maintaining her original comments were “inappropriate and irresponsible".
Szewc said “Should there be something done about it? I don’t think so.
"If it happened again maybe there should be some consequences from that, but you know sometimes people get emotions, you can always explain that with something else.
"But that's good that she apologized for that."