Limerick solicitor set to complain to DPP

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

LIMERICK solicitor John Devane has said he is writing to the Director of Public Prosecutions over the “fairness” in being prosecuted for assaulting a colleague, who is also a Free Legal Aid solicitor at Limerick Court.

LIMERICK solicitor John Devane has said he is writing to the Director of Public Prosecutions over the “fairness” in being prosecuted for assaulting a colleague, who is also a Free Legal Aid solicitor at Limerick Court.

Judge Patrick Clyne last week marked the State’s case proven in a case against Mr Devane, for assaulting fellow solicitor John Herbert.

No conviction will be recorded once he pays a fine of €1,000 to Saint Vincent de Paul.

Mr Devane said he is sending a letter of complaint to the DPP regarding two sets of proceedings against him, as he believes both parties have some degree of culpability in the case.

He said there appears to be “one law for me and one for everybody else”. The 50-year-old criminal lawyer was acquitted in the first case, after he denied hitting Mr Herbert twice in the groin area during an altercation outside Limerick courthouse almost 18 months ago.

Mr Herbert did admit grabbing Mr Devane by the tie in that incident.

Mr Devane said he “wasn’t expecting” the recent verdict, but added: “I’m happy to put it behind me.”

“A lot of pressure has been lifted, because I do not have a criminal record and I believe that Judge Clyne was most fair in how he dealt with it. It was hard for my wife to have to live with this for the past year and a half.”

Asked if the case could have any other implications for him, he said: “The Law Society might very well decide to take a look at it, if there’s a complaint lodged with them. If there is, there’ll be a counter complaint, against Mr Herbert, who accepted in court that he grabbed me by the tie. So if there’s an investigation in to me, there has to be for both [parties].”

However, he said he does not wish to continue any animosities with Mr Herbert. “I hope that this is the end of it. I genuinely want to get on with my life. There’s no reason why our paths should cross at any stage in the future.”

He said he would continue to be civil and courteous to his colleague, but believes “a good relationship would be too much to expect”, although he said he wishes him well.

“I get on perfectly well with the rest of the solicitors in court, except that there’s very much an old boys’ club here. I don’t want to be a member of that. I don’t need any clique to get on with anybody.”

In spite of the charges he faced, he said he can still hold his head high and has “nothing to be ashamed of”.