Judge Desmond Zaidan
Another District Court judge needs to be appointed to County Kildare, according to the local judge Desmond Zaidan.
“I’m the busiest District Court judge in Ireland,” he said, at a sitting of the court in Naas more than once during the year, adding that there are statistics to prove the fact.
“There is only one judge and this county needs a second judge,” he added.
He said he cannot keep apologising for the lack of judges and delays in the District Court system in County Kildare.
Blaming the political system for the failure to make another appointment, he said: “People are coming into the court and they just see the judge, they don’t see the politicians or the Oireachtas.”
Judge Zaidan was the fourth busiest judge in the country in 2014 after it was revealed that he handled over 13,000 District Court cases in the space of 12 months.
Figures published in the Irish Times shows that District 25, which takes in Naas, Athy and Kilcock courthouses, was the sixth busiest district for court cases in 2014, with some 13,223 cases passing through the doors.
Limerick and Cork were the two busiest districts in the country, but Limerick had two judges sitting over the 24,542 cases, while three different judges presided over the 33,687 cases in the Cork district.
The highest amount of cases handled by a single judge was in the Ennis/Gort district, with Judge Patrick Durcan working his way through 14,984 cases in 2014.
The issue arose again when it emerged that a relatively routine careless driving case — arising from a non-fatal road accident which occurred in July 2016 - was only dealt with on October 14 at Naas courthouse.
The matter, involving a young man from County Cork, had been listed four times for hearing, but his case was not reached for hearing on any occasion.
“This is because of the volume of cases being heard. It amounts to a systems failure; the man turned up each and every time,” said solicitor Conal Boyce.