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Jailed for wearing a T-shirt

category wicklow | rights, freedoms and repression | other press author Monday July 17, 2006 16:04author by John Kelly Report this post to the editors

Punk Rock fan imprisoned for seven days for wearing a Sex Pistols T-shirt

A 33 year old man was sentenced to seven days in jail for wearing the T-shirt with the words "Never mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols" at a court in Bray on Friday July, 16, 2006. The judge Murrough Connellan refused an attempt by the man to purge his "contempt" after his partner Lorraine Fitzpatrick purchased a plain blue T-shirt. The judge said he had not furnished "good reason" for wearing the garment.

The man 33 year old Philip Dunleavy had been charged with shoplifting from Woodie's DIY store in Bray but before the charges were dealt with by the court, Judge Connellan objected to the T-shirt worn by Mr Dunleavy. He said his contempt of the court was "clear and brazen". Mr Dunleavy's girlfriend Lorraine Fitzpatrick was in court with their eight year old daughter and went to purchase a plain blue T-shirt for her partner in the event of him being able to purge his contempt. The judge, however refused. Ms Fitzpatrick said that "It wasn't that Philip got up last night and ironed the T-shirt... He follows the Sex Pistolsas a group for most of his life, and he wore the T-shirt without thinking about it". She said that her partner was "devastated and in shock" adding that when her daughter "asked why her Daddy was going away in a van, it was very hard to say it was because of his T-shirt".

author by hardlynewspublication date Mon Jul 17, 2006 16:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Perhaps it would have been easier for her to tell the child that he was going away for shoplifting. That would be all right, would it?

author by John Kelly - CFSDpublication date Mon Jul 17, 2006 16:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The judge may have never heard of the Sex Pistols and they would not be my own taste in music, but this judge is a civil servant who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution affirms that "no person shall be deprived of their liberty save in accordance with law". What law allowed this civil servant to imprison a man with no trial and no jury ? Is it emergency powers legisaltion which is provided for in the Constitution ? No, no such legislation was invoked by the judge (Read civil servant adjudicator) in this case, yet a man languishes in jail as indeed the Rossport 5 did last year .

Where is the Human Rights Commission and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties ? We hope their activities extend beyond wine and cheese gatherings following lectures at meetings where it costs an arm and a leg to get into. Eternal vigilance remains the price of liberty. "Think global and act local".

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Mon Jul 17, 2006 16:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Right on Mr. Kelly!

An open ended sentence, like contempt is also unconstitutional and is a throwback to our English Lords and Masters.

Besides there is precedent for wearing offensive t-shirts in open court. In the USA (where precedent may be set for Irish courts) many protesters of the Vietnam War wore t-shirts in court that openly and defiantly protested the war in very graphical terms. After much legal debate, the protesters won the right to protest in open court in this fashion.

Maybe it's the judge that needs to spend some time reflecting, in a cell.

author by John Kelly - CFSDpublication date Mon Jul 17, 2006 16:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If he was jailed for shoplifting I would not have put it up as news. The "news" is he was not found guilty or innocent of the charge of shoplifting OR ANY other charge for that matter. In case you did not know "Priorities" a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in this country. He was jailed because the civil servant did not like the garment he wore.

author by Tank Girlpublication date Mon Jul 17, 2006 18:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No mention of Tshirt. Whats up? Is this a made up story byJ K?

Father of five took girls runners

The case against a man who took a pair of girls' runners from a local store without paying has been adjourned for the preparation of a probation report.

Philip Dunleavy, 42 Oldcourt Drive, Bray pleaded guilty to the offence which occurred at Dunnes Stores, Main Street, Bray on April 16 last.

A garda witness told the court that the accused had taken a pair of girls' runners valued at €20 from the store without paying.

Solicitor for the accused, Brian McLoughlin said his client had paid for a number of items in the store on the date in question. However, he acknowledged that Dunleavy, a father of five children had not paid for the runners.

'He did buy some items and it was his intention initially to buy the runners but he didn't have enough money to buy them,' Mr McLoughlin said.

Noting the situation, Judge Murrough Connellan adjourned the matter until September 10 next to allow for the preparation of a probation report.

author by Rorypublication date Mon Jul 17, 2006 18:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He's not the first person in this country to be jailed for wearing a tee-shirt. Back in the 1980s in Cork Don O'Leary was given, and served, a five year jail sentence for possession of a tee-shirt with the slogan "IRA Calls the Shots" - or, to be exact, he was convicted of IRA membership as a result of having this tee-shirt.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 17, 2006 18:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its right that Don O'Leary should be remembered. But lets give some credit to the Court of Appeals: they reduced the sentence to 4 years! Truly Daniels come to justice.

author by John Kellypublication date Mon Jul 17, 2006 22:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is no reference at all to what Tank Girl states above in the Irish Independent report Saturday 17, 2006. That is where I saw the story on page 17 of that newspaper. I have far better things to be doing than making up stories but perhaps the indo journo was in a daydream? no mention of Dunnes Stores, 5 pairs of runners etc, etc.

author by pat cpublication date Tue Jul 18, 2006 18:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Heres the Mirrors take on it. Maybe there were 2 Philip Dunleavys up before the same judge ;)

17 July 2006
Plea to free man jailed for wearing rude top
By Will Payne
THE partner of a man jailed for wearing his favourite T-shirt to court has begged for him to be freed.

Philip Dunleavy, 33, was sent to prison for a week for contempt after he wore a top featuring the words of the famous Sex Pistols album Never Mind The Bollocks.

And last night his distraught partner Lorraine Fitzpatrick said: "My daughter hasn't slept since Friday and she's taking this really badly."

Dunleavy, from Bray, Co Wicklow, was in court to answer charges of shoplifting when Judge Murrough Connellan spotted the T-shirt.

He asked Dunleavy if he had a good reason for wearing the shirt but when he said he did not, the judge sentenced him to seven days in Dublin's Cloverhill prison for contempt.

Dunleavy, who has an eightyear- old daughter, was then led out of Bray District Court.

Ms Fitzpatrick added: "The Sex Pistols are one of his favourite bands and he's had the T-shirt for years. He had to go to court and it was the closest thing to hand. He would have been happy to apologise."

Ms Fitzpatrick was at home on Friday when she got a call from Dunleavy asking her to bring a plain blue T-shirt to court so he could change.

She rushed round with the new shirt but it was too late.

Ms Fitzpatrick said: "All I know is that everyone I've met has been really supportive - they can't believe that someone can go to jail just because of what they are wearing."

She added she did not want her daughter to see her father in jail.

Some legal experts maintain the judge was entitled to jail him.

Fine Gael's justice spokesman Jim O'Keeffe said: "The courts are independent, but I would hope some lawyer can lodge an appeal to the appropriate court."

The Department of Justice declined to comment on the case.

author by Mick Butlerpublication date Tue Jul 18, 2006 19:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Did the beak on the bench have his crown colony wig on ? There's a fairly laid back attitude to something like this in this country. A beak gets ruffled by words on a shirt and slams a guy into cloverhill. Tis the judge should be in there. Crown colony wigs and attitude alive and well in the land where the wind is supposed to "shake the barley" . M B

author by Rasherspublication date Mon Jul 24, 2006 02:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A judge is not a Civil Servant.
Its a Republican thing... seperation of powers and all that.
Wearing that t-shirt was going to get a predictable reaction. His solicitor should have seen it coming even if he didn't..
Stupidity is a bollocks of a defense.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

actually a judge is a civil servant. a special civil servant who is very difficult to sack. i think philip may not have had a solictor for the first appearance, he was just expecting a date to be set for the hearing of the case. different judges take offence against different things. philip could not be expected to second guess a judge.

author by Sheepstealerpublication date Mon Jul 24, 2006 17:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How can it be right to send someone to prison for seven days for wearing a t-shirt, what next, if people have tatoos on their face with a slogan or if they have green, pink or blue hair will they all automatically be sent to prision? God help anyone if they look a bit different or wear clothes that a judge doesn't like. This is a disgrace. People should be entitled to wear clothing of their choice and not live in fear of being put in prison for it, judges and barristers wear ridiculous imperialist style clothing which are offensive to many and I certainly don't like it, but I wouldn't put them away for it if they showed up in my mythical court.

Shame on that judge, he is a disgrace to the Nation!

author by katepublication date Sun Jul 30, 2006 02:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is all very lovely.... but as an eyewitness to the incident a few things must be highlighted. Firstly the man's attitude to the judge when asked about his t-shirt can only be described as smug and smart arsed- that the judge remanded him for five days increased to 7 when the man shouted "f*** you" at the judge.

My general view would be that a courtroom demands respect the reason being that it is the only way order is maintained. People do not have the right to say what they like in a courtroom, t-shirt or otherwise, that is why the contempt rule is there. If they did have the right to say what they liked when they liked mayhem would ensue. Wearing a t-shirt with the 'never mind the bolocks' written on it like it or not is entirely inappropriate it brings the wrong atmostphere to the court and shows blatant lack of respect and it advertises that lack of respect to everyone else there.

Stupidity - and wearing that t-shirt was stupid, as is swearing at the judge (shockingly in front of his 7 year old daughter!)- is no excuse. The man was going to court - he should have thought about his attire.

Did he get what he deserved? No. The sentence was too harsh are gaol space should be kept for real criminals not eejits like this man.

author by Sheepstealerpublication date Sun Jul 30, 2006 17:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well, Kate's eyewitness report puts a different light on the event right enough. I wasn't there myself, I was only going on the initial report which seemed to leave out a few essential ingredients.

I am all in favour of people wearing whatever they like to court, as I personally take great offence at the imperialistic style black robes and horse's hair wigs worn my pompous barristers and judges (introduced here in 1685 to mourn an English Monarch and are basically leftovers and hateful reminders of British imperialism, an insult to all who fought for Irish independence!).

However, I am not in favour of people who verbally show blatant disrespect to any person by saying 'fuck you!'. That was a very stupid thing this man said to a judge before he heard his case. There isn't a court in the world today of whatever form that would tolerate such insulting verbal behaviour. However, a fews hours in a cell and a warning would have sufficed, the man should not have been imprisoned for seven days for this, and he did not get a fair hearing, and that is wrong - for the man on the day was surely a fool!

author by John Kellypublication date Wed Aug 02, 2006 22:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As I said earlier I was going on a report in Indo, although its funny that the I Times did not mention Kate's version the following week when it covered the story. I wonder is there a transcript of the proceedings ! Either way he was deprived of his liberty with no trial or due process. Judge should be off the bench. I notice that it was the same judge-civil servant who handed down "community service" to a TD who was pissed, three times over the booze limit and driving up the wrong side of the Nass dual carriage way. Yes, remember TD McDaid , indeed all is on the level in court, yeah right ! sick it is. Just an aside : If there were white collar criminals in the "Joy" it would have been pulled down years ago.

All the best J K

author by Katepublication date Sun Aug 06, 2006 13:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There were no reporters in court that day. All reports went on second-hand evidence and it would seem that either these reporters sources were wrong or that they conviniently left out the bits that would make the public lose sympathy for this man. Because as John clearly highlights reporters never have an unbiased opinion- they slant the story in a way that suits their own ends. Bringing this mans child into that was a clear example of heart string tugging.

On the McDaid question - a judge must take in to account many things when passing down a sentence- McDaid wasn't just fined his licence was revoked he lost his job and the entire of the country and beyond knows who he his and that he is an alcholic. Sometimes the publicity an offence gets is sentence enough- regardless of whether the man is a TD or not. What is the point of throwing an alcholic in jail by the way? it's an illness if anything Mr McDaid needs help not a stretch. I would go so far as o say I feel more sympathy for him than I do for the man in the t-shirt.

author by mother of kidnapped children - F.E.M.publication date Mon Aug 07, 2006 02:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The same happened to me last year. I got yailed over nothing actually. I wanted to speak to the person who holds my children illegally in the Netherlands. This is a woman working for a company that takes children from their parents and gets monies of the Dutch state. She took the children from their dad in Holland and failed to deliver them back to me in Ireland. Holland did sign an agreement that they would give children who are abducted and taken to their country back to the mother. This woman however refused to give me back my kids. She is paid 80000 a year for them by the Dutch state. When I made an appointment to see the woman I was jailed. I had to stay in a concrete "bunker" with a camera and lights on 24/7 and no sleeping or sitting fascility. I got ill as my clothes were not given back to me. The police later said I was arrested for wearing a t-shirt with print on it. I was not wearing it when I got arrested. It was in a plasic bag (dirty laundry) and they had no business searching my car. They also accused me of painting the building of the b.j.z. where I was arrested. This building had not got a trace of paint on it and I was with my lawyer arount the time they claimed I was painting. I was thinkin of sending them a bill for the paint-job, but in Holland women are underpaid earning still far less than men for the same work. The police finally came up with a slogan on a piece of paper that I would have. They said they clearly recognized the handwriting (by this time the policemans face was purple from anger) he showed me a piece of paper with big computer printed letters on it...I guess i can deduct i am a computer so. Hmm police have got only 1 braincell or less. They confiscated my dirty laundry and made me sign a letter to say I voluntarily gave it to them ( otherwise i would go back to jail) and then they drove me far away from the station and tossed me out of the car and drove off at great speed. I couldn't walk anymore so i staggered to my car. They still have the t-shirt. grrr.

author by Sceptic. - None whatsoeverpublication date Mon Aug 09, 2010 04:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

in addition to ....see how this judge is behaving today by logging on to his very own personal
page , , comments are in the AVOID mode ,some very very
interesting comments from various posters are suddenly appearing in relation to his dogmatic
attitude to 'Fathers Rights' Wicklow when you see the map of ireland .

author by Fashion Designer.publication date Mon Aug 09, 2010 14:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dress codes are normal.

You will be arrested for wearing a Swastika in Germany.

You will be arrested for going nude and wearing nothing at all in an Irish street.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Mon Aug 09, 2010 15:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yep. and you can be de-frocked and excommunicated for promoting equal rights for women in the Roman cult easier than for raping children. The prudish moral majority(who did THAT headcount?)are more offended by reference to the testes than by revelations of sexual abuse in their own ranks. My question would be why the fuck Dermot Ahearn needed to bring in blasphemy legistlation when they already have dictatorial juristiction on expression so blatantly through the whim of the bench?And what exactly is it I have to do to get charged with blasphemy?Would Father Ted be liable?
At the end of the day the courts are there to discipline the poor and protect the rich, with nuance according to your rank in the pecking order. That said, a little discretion tempers the justifiable contempt, unless you want a week away from the domestic bliss.

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