24 May 2012 2 Comments by The Northern Standard

The local District Court judge has once again sharply criticised the design and size of the judge’s bench in his courtroom at the courthouse in Monaghan town — and has warned that he will object to continue sitting in the court unless something is done about what he called a “health and safety issue”.
Stating that he felt like a “rugby scrum half”, Judge Sean MacBride said his bench was far too wide. The Courts Service would have to be approached on this matter, he said, as there were health and safety issues concerned.
It was difficult to stretch across the desk when handing documents to the Court Clerk, Judge MacBride said, and he was “not going to be pulling ligaments out of my shoulder”.
Whoever designed the bench “really need their heads examined”, he added. The clerk had difficulties in passing papers up, while he had a huge difficulty in even receiving them.
There was therefore a health and safety issue in relation to the judge’s bench in the District Court, and he wanted it dealt with, Judge MacBride stated.
He wanted no excuses from the Courts Service, and wanted it made clear that he would be formally objecting to continuing to sit at the court in Monaghan if he was to face this “monstrosity” of a bench. It was an obstruction and was “just not on”.
At a sitting of the court in January Judge MacBride had also used the rugby analogy while delivering a broadside at the architects who designed the courtroom layout. He said on that occasion that even a “scrum half with the longest hand in Ireland” could not pass documents to the clerk’s bench without having to get up from the seat.
The designers had somehow managed to “reduce the size of a perfectly good courtroom by about a third”, he had added.


  • Steve Latenne said:

    Why wasn’t Sean McBride consulted with the plans for the new courthouse and this bench? After all it’s his work-place, common sense dictates that he should have had at least some input in it.

  • John Murphy said:

    perhaps the judge could give a local carpenter some of his 240K salary to fix his bench