The Shame of Ireland
05/10/2004 - 18:54:42
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern confirmed today that Judge Brian Curtin’s name was on a list of suspected paedophiles before his appointment to the bench.
He also admitted he was not certain if the Judicial Appointments Board carried out routine security checks.
“A Brian Curtin from Tralee, Co Kerry, was one of over 100 names on an Interpol list received in August 2001,” he said.
“But gardaí were not to know he was a senior counsel being considered by the Board to be appointed to the bench.”
He said gardaí would have had no way of knowing Judge Curtin’s position and thus had not advised the then Justice Minister John O’Donoghue of his inclusion on the list.
Judge Curtin was appointed to the bench in November 2001 and was prosecuted in May 2002 for being knowingly in possession of child pornography.
He was later acquitted of the charges when his trial collapsed.
It emerged the Garda warrant used to search his Tralee home was out of date.
Mr Ahern said it was “highly unlikely” security checks were carried out on those being considered for the judiciary.
He said even if they were, in this case, Judge Curtin would almost certainly have escaped attention as he did not have a criminal conviction.
Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny said the latest revelations highlighted a major shortfall in the judicial appointments procedure.
“It is clear that the Judicial Appointments Board has the power to consult with persons concerning the suitability of applicants,” he said.
“The apparent failure to do so highlights a major shortfall in the operation of that board when recommending such sensitive appointments.”
He said if contact had been made it would appear the appointment would not have been made and asked Mr Ahern to examine the apparent gap in the system.
Ireland's criminals and elitists, accused of paedophilia, are found not guilty on the basis of a legal technicality and walk free from court!
"Trial of judge Curtin collapses"
23 April 2004 20:00
The trial of the Circuit Court judge Brian Curtin on charges of possessing child pornography has collapsed.
Judge Curtin has been found not guilty by direction of the trial judge Carroll Moran. The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Judge Moran found that gardaí raided Mr Curtin's home after the search warrant had expired. He said the State had to have been aware that the warrant had expired.
In his seven page written judgement, Judge Moran described the submissions made by the prosecution on the validity of the search warrant as 'untenable and nonsensical'.
He said the prosecution must have known or at least ought to have known that on any reasonable interpretation of the issues any judge in any court would have excluded the relevant evidence.
Judge Moran said the law was crystal clear and the issue could not be simpler.
He said it was wrong for the prosecution to bring this case to trial when they knew or ought to have known that the warrant had expired and the evidence collected as a result of the execution of the warrant would have been inadmissible.
Questioned about the court ruling in relation to the warrant, a garda spokesman said they accepted the judgement of the court.
The spokesman said garda management will be examining the judgement in relation to how it affects the gardaí operationally."
The Non-Impeachment of Judge Brian Curtin
The judge resigns on the First Day of the Impeachment Process.
Judge Brian Curtin has tabled his resignation , thus alleiviating the Oireachtas of the
The resignation tabled by Justice Curtin, therefore, removes from the
They Can Fix It For Anybody!
Published 25/04/2004 | 00:11
JIMMY GUERIN, CHARLIE MALLON,
JIM CUSACK THE father of a teenage girl with whom Judge Curtin has had a friendship has spoken of his distress at their relationship. Gerard Crean, from Fenit Island in Co Kerry, confirmed to the Sunday Independent that he had confronted the Judge Curtin, 52, about his friendship with his daughter, Lindsey, which he claims began when she was 16.
"I did what any right-minded father would do," Mr Crean said. The friendship between Judge Curtin and Miss Crean, now 18, has since ended. Lindsey Crean was yesterday refusing to talk to the media about her friendship with the judge.
The case against Judge Curtin collapsed dramatically on Friday when he was acquitted of possessing child pornography by direction of the trial judge, Judge Carroll Moran.
The implications of the collapse are to be discussed by the Cabinet on Tuesday.
It is understood Lindsey Crean recently gave birth, but that Judge Curtin is not the baby's father.
However, several tabloid newspapers have offered the girl significant sums of money for an interview about her friendship with Judge Curtin.
But so far she has refused to accept any offers. When contacted by the Sunday Independent yesterday, Ms Crean
hung up. Her besieged parents were yesterday also refusing to make any comment.
However, in the recent past, her father Gerard told this newspaper of his unease at his daughter's friendship with the judge.
He confirmed that he had gone to the judge's house on a number of occasions in an attempt to end their friendship. He also spoke of the deep distress within his family over the friendship.
When the Sunday Independent subsequently called to Judge Curtin's home to discuss his friendship with Miss Crean, we were invited inside by Judge Curtin's father.
As we talked to Mr Curtin Snr, we saw a computer game featuring the children's doll, Barbie, on the window sill of Judge Curtin's study.
The Barbie game was left lying among scattered books and computer discs after gardai spent several hours going through the judge's library and study at his home, Ard na Li in Tralee.
Outside his professional career, Judge Curtin was also very much in the local public eye with a keen interest in amateur dramatics.
He ran unsuccessfully as a Progressive Democrat candidate for the Tralee Town Council in the early 1990s. He was married to Tralee Labour Councillor, Miriam McGillycuddy, and has a teenage daughter. The marriage ended in 1998.
Judge Curtin has been the target of verbal abuse since his first court appearance. But gardai said they had not received a complaint from him in relation to an alleged assault on him in a bar shortly after Christmas last year.
Management at the Greyhound Bar in Tralee, however, confirmed an incident took place in which Judge Curtin sustained minor injuries.
It was not the first time Judge Curtin was involved in controversy. In 2002 he came in for criticism after he suspended all but six months of a West Cork farmer's two-year custodial sentence for sexually abusing three young girls.
The sensational end to the trial of Judge Curtin, on the basis of an invalid search warrant, puts the spotlight on Justice Minister Michael McDowell, Attorney General Rory Brady and the Director of Public Prosecutions, James Hamilton. The warrant in the Curtin investigation was the only one out of 102 warrants issued for the seizure of computers and software under 'Operation Amethyst' to fail.
All of the other 101 warrants were properly executed and searches carried out within the seven-day limit set under the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act.
The warrant authorised the named officer, Detective Inspector Thomas Dixon, and other gardai to enter Judge Curtin's home "within seven days from the date of the warrant". The search warrant was signed at 3.20pm on May 20, 2002 by District Court President, Judge Peter Smithwick.
But gardai did not enter Judge Curtin's house until 2.20pm on May 27, 2002 when they searched it and seized a home computer and other components. By that time the warrant had expired.
While the Curtin case went on for four days before the judgement delivered by Judge Moran, another case of possession of child pornography arising out of Operation Amethyst in Munster on the same day, May 27, 2002, was withdrawn last year by the DPP.
But as is the custom with such decisions, no explanation was given by the DPP for this action.
On September 2, 2003 at Killarney District Court, State Solicitor Ed O'Sullivan withdrew the case against Silvano Taddei, 31, Andrea Lodge, Ross Rd, Killarney.
He had appeared before Judge Humphrey Kelleher at Killarney District Court previously but he had declined to hear the case because of its seriousness. Mr Taddei faced a charge of knowingly possessing images of children in pornographic poses on his computer on May 27 last at Andrea Lodge.
Amid growing public disquiet, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) said while it accepted the judgement, it called for an inquiry into the serious errors made in the investigation.
Fine Gael's Justice spokesman Jim O'Keeffe said yesterday there was a duty on the Government and the Minister for Justice to allay public unease after the Judge Curtin case and address public concerns about it.
The public heard little of what was on Judge Curtin's computer during his trial last week. But State prosecutor Mary Ellen Ring SC revealed that explicit images of persons under the age of 17 were found on the computer.
"In other words, someone under the age of 17 and who is either engaged in an explicit sexual activity or where there is depiction of the genital or anal region," she said.
Judge Curtin has at all times denied the allegations. He was before the court on one count of knowingly having in his possession child pornography contrary to Section 6 of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998.
The Curtin investigation was centrally directed from the headquarters of the Garda's National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) in Dublin, but in almost every case outside Dublin, warrants were sought by local gardai.
There were no other problems in all the other cases, according to gardai, and almost every other case has resulted in a successful prosecution.
The warrant in the Curtin case was handled by the gardai in charge of the operation from the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault unit of the NBCI and obtained in Dublin, the first warrant to be obtained in the investigation.
In all the other cases, the raids had taken place within two or three days of the issuing of the warrants.
The officer who obtained the warrant, Det Insp Thomas Dixon, who gave evidence in court, is awaiting promotion to the rank of superintendent.
He told the judge that he and a number of gardai at the NBCI had received information from the US police authorities and was making the application for a search warrant for Judge Curtin's home for items associated with child pornography.
He also informed Judge Peter Smithwick that he had established the ownership of the (American Express) credit card used. "I informed the judge that it was registered to Brian Curtin," he said.
Yesterday Gardai could not say if there is to be an internal investigation, although a report will have to be forwarded to the Justice Minister before the matter of Judge Curtin's future service is to be discussed at Cabinet.
The Curtin raid was handled by the gardai from Dublin because of the prominence of the suspect as a judge.
The judge's case received more attention than even that of Tim Allen, husband of celebrity chef Darina Allen.
The future for Judge Curtin has still to be determined. While his costs were initially refused, he could expect to recoup them on the basis that while the DPP was aware as far back as December 16, 2002 that a problem existed with the warrant, the office chose to proceed with the case.
Judge Curtin's innocence is still intact but the Government, rather than take the unprecedented move to impeach him, could ask him to voluntarily step down for a huge financial consideration as at the age of 52, he could theoretically serve another 18 years on the bench. At the moment, Mr Curtin remains a judge of the Circuit Court on full pay of ?130,000 a year.
That was some virus - it could get access to the Judge's note book AND pen from his pocket; and then write script (username&password access to child abuse images site) in the Judge's OWN handwriting!!!!
Apparently this 'virus' has yet to replicate itself - making it a UNIQUE virus in the history of viruses!
The US detective who found Judge Brian Curtin's credit card details on a child porn website ruled out the possibility that a computer virus left incriminating material on the judge's computer.....
The government was to start impeachment proceedings against the judge after Curtin said he would not resign.The judge replied to the government after it demanded a full explanation for the child porn allegedly found on his computer. It was suggested by sources close to the judge that the 280 images of child pornography found on Curtain's computer were planted by a ``Trojan horse'' virus........
Detective Steve Nelson, the officer at the centre of the US investigation, rejected the suggestion. ``It just does not hang,'' he said
He added that there was no history of child porn being sent maliciously to personal computers. ``If you get a `pop-up' computer spam, it's because you've gained access to that type of website already,'' he said...... Computer security expert Kevin McAleavey, of New York firm Boclean, said that a virus dedicated to attacking specific computers can leave a multitude of false trails. However, he said this type of structured ``Trojan horse'' virus was not generally in circulation back in 1999, when Curtin's credit card was used to access the child porn website.
It was ``theoretically possible'' that Curtin, a barrister at the time, could have been the target of a malicious client, he said. When asked about the frequency of these viruses in the late 1990s, McAleavey said: ``Not so much that I am aware of.''...... The computer virus argument will not arise if Curtin faces impeachment proceedings. This is because the images on his computer were found using a defective search warrant and would be deemed inadmissible in any inquiry. The central case against Curtin would instead rest on the evidence uncovered by Nelson, who had been scheduled to testify at Curtin's trial.......
The trial collapsed after it emerged that the search warrant was a day old. Nelson said he was prepared to tell any inquiry or impeachment hearing about how he found not only Curtin's credit card details, but also the judge's home address, e-mail address and details of his computer's internet service provider (ISP) on the notorious website Landslide Productions.....
Nelson said that the presence of this information on the Landslide databasee showed that an imposter would have needed more than a stolen credit card to log Curtin's details on the portal. When asked if he would be prepared to testify at any future inquiry or impeachment hearing, Nelson said: ``Yeah. In the normal course of my business I will do whatever is required.
Compare & Contrast all the effort & energy to impeach Curtin - not only in the media but also via the Oireachtas and all to no avail and how little effort or energy expended to go after Connell, Brady, the hierarchy the christian brothrs, the sisters of mercy/charity et al!
THE government was told that the name of a paedophile website was entered in Judge Brian Curtin’s desk diary. It was seized from Curtin’s house during a garda investigation into subscribers to child pornography on the internet. The entries included the typed address of a child-porn website on a piece of paper inserted into the diary. Scribbled handwritten notes were found that gardai believe referred to paedophile websites. The notes were included in the dossier of evidence against Curtin being studied by an Oireachtas committee.
In 2002 Curtin suspended all but six months of a West Cork farmer's two-year custodial sentence for sexually abusing three young girls.
defective search warrant ... Helpful!
JUDGE CURTIN - - - - TROJANS (STRUCTURED & UNSTRUCTURED) --
The dangers posed by such viruses depended on whether they were structured ones, such as those used in industrial espionage, or the more common unstructured viruses, which are typically used to advertise everything from computer games to adult porn. The patterns of behaviour of the unstructured viruses are known to computer forensic experts.
- - - "Each virus can be analysed by reverse engineering.The tasks that they direct can be identified, Within the code of the virus, the capabilities can be ascertained; also the pattern of behaviour of the virus on the computer can be established. The computer and ISP logs CAN THEN BE COMPARED with the behaviour associated with the virus." "
- - - An argument can then be made to establish whether the virus was to blame for the downloading of material on the computer. However, if the viruses are structured programmes, dedicated to attacking specific PCs, it would be extremely difficult to establish if the PC owner had personally downloaded material on to his computer. Such viruses could leave a multitude of false trails, BUT that STRUCTURED Trojan Horses WERE NOT GENERALLY IN CIRCULATION in 1999, when Curtin's CREDIT CARD WAS USED TO ACCESS CHILD PORNOGRAPHY. ....
The FBI may provide the best hope of removing Curtin from the bench. A two-year investigation by the bureau established that the judge's credit card details WERE on the billing records of the notorious child porn website, Landslide Productions. Landslide's billing database was divided into separate sections for adult porn and child porn, which included at least 352 sites, according to US media reports.
Curtin's credit card was among 250,000 logged worldwide by Landslide. One of those convicted was Pete Townshend of The Who. His credit card was also used only once. A court was later told that 85 child porn images were downloaded from Curtin's computer and a further 187 were restored (recovered) by Gardai after being (apparently) deleted.
The fact of these deletions points to Curtin KNOWING he was being investigated by the law. It points to him being tipped off.