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Chief Justice demanded the resignation of Supreme Court judge who attended the unlawful reception; Seamus Woulfe refused to resign

DUBLIN: The Golfgate dinner controversy, which was organised in breach of the COVID-19 guidelines, is again in the news. Earlier, the EU commissioner and agriculture minister resigned following their participation in the reception. The forgotten case is now back in the news with the intervention of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Frank Clarke has demanded the resignation of Supreme Court judge Seamus Woulfe, who attended the illegal party. But when Wolf refused to resign, the problem became complicated.

Chief Justice Frank Clarke met with Supreme Court Judge Seamus Woulfe last week. Woulfe reiterated that he would not resign at the meeting. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court had demanded Judge Seamus Woulfe to resign by sending a letter. But in a reply letter, Woulfe said he had rejected the resignation. Golfgate Dinner is back in the news after both letters hit the headlines.

Solution is going to be a political decision

The indication is that the solution to the problem will now be a political decision. The Cabinet is expected to discuss the matter after the Chief Justice himself demanded the resignation of the judge.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General has been asked to advise the Taoiseach and the government on the legal validity of the Chief Justice’s position. The government will be forced to make a decision based on his report. It is hoped that this will resolve the issue.

Earlier, Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary and EU Commissioner Phil Hogan resigned for attending a reception in breach of the COVID-19 rules.

Serious damage to the judiciary

The action of Judge Seamus Woulfe, who attended the unlawful party, caused serious damage to the judiciary. Therefore, Chief Justice Frank Clarke says in a letter that he should resign. But Seamus Woulfe made it clear in his reply letter that he did not have to resign. The Chief Justice said that the letter sent to Woulfe was published in the public interest.

“It is not part of my role to ask, let alone tell, you to resign. Resignation is and can only be for the judge him or herself. Regrettably, however, I believe that I should make clear my personal opinion that, to avoid continuing serious damage to the judiciary, you should resign. I asked you to reflect on this. You have indicated that you do not intend to resign,” Chief Justice Clarke said in his letter to Woulfe.

Until February, the Chief Justice had exempted Woulfe from interfering in court proceedings. He’s only been appointed to court in the summer. The Chief Justice also ordered that arrangements be made to waive or repay Woulfe’s salary for that period.

A meeting took place between them last Thursday, but details of the event were not issued. Chief Justice Clarke sent a letter to Wolf on November 5. The two judges were scheduled to meet on October, but it was later canceled. The meeting was postponed at Woulfe’s request for medical reasons.

Former Chief Justice Susan Denham found that it would be “unjust and disproportionate” for the judge to resign.

Wolf said he did not intentionally violate the law

Judge Seamus Woulfe said in a letter to Clarke that he had not intentionally violated the law and thus had no reason to resign. He acknowledged that violating the COVID-19 guidelines had adversely affected the image of the judiciary and the Supreme Court. He has also apologised for attending the party. “I do not consider it in any way appropriate that I should resign,” Woulfe wrote.

Woulfe said he attended the party with 45 people and did not criticise the government. Woulfe alleged that the Supreme Court chief had predetermined his verdict. Woulfe also said that his one month salary had been donated to the charity.

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