Free the Artist - Jail the Judge

Published: 2016-02-02

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Michael Hoffman posted an interesting blog on All Saints Day regarding the sentencing of Irish artist Dermot Mulqueen. Mr. Mulqueen was sentenced to five months in jail for giving a lunchtime public performance on January 23rd 2015 where he put an axe through a TV at the Daniel O’Connell monument in Ennis town center.

No one was hurt or endangered by Mr. Mulqueen’s performance but Judge Patrick Durcan found that Mulqueen, “behaved in the most offensive way, not merely towards a particular section of society but towards society generally”.

Presumably, the offense was not believing in the impossible and extremely weird tales of human soap factories, disappearing bodies, and baby bonfires that comprise large parts of Holocaust Belief.

Judge Patrick Durcan

Judge Patrick Durcan

Judge Durcan claimed that Mulqueen offended all, “reasonably minded men and women who maintain civic society.” In fact, Durcan seemed to be champing at the bit to inflict greater punishment on the artist, remarking

“I am only surprised that he has not been charged with other offenses.”


“I regard his behavior on this occasion as one of the most serious breaches of the Criminal Justice Public Order Act that I have come across.”

Such extreme rants against Revisionism tempt one to suspect that Judge Durcan was engaging in his own bit of performance art…after Tomás de Torquemada, but, unfortunately Durcan seems to be a True Believer who is actually offended by people who do not share his beliefs. What makes Durcan’s rant a Performance of the Absurd is that Durcan is probably unaware of current research such as that which has dropped the death toll at Majdanek to a small fraction of the Nuremberg claims. In fact, one could probably bet that Judge Durcan has little idea of the history of Majdanek Camp.

Mr. Hoffman’s germane comment was that, “Revisionist history consists in the art of discerning fraud and the courage to strip illusions even when the whole world is clamoring violently for it.” Mr. Mulqueen, welcome to the ranks containing Aldous Huxley and Radclyffe Hall. Judge Durcan, welcome to the ranks with Judge William Chevir and Judge Jerome Alexander.

Follow up Report

Mr. Mulqueen has filed an appeal to the Circuit Court. In the meantime, Judge Durcan was hit by the Leprechaun’s Curse, again having unruly defendants before him. A district court hearing was suspended after a commotion was caused when a man exposed himself to a judge. Proceedings at Ennis District Court were suspended after Brian Joyce took his pants down in front of Judge Patrick Durcan. Mr. Joyce turned his back on the judge and slapped his exposed rear-end after Judge Durcan refused bail to the man’s younger brother, John.

John and Brian Joyce, both of St. Enda’s, Beechpark, Ennis, were before the court on Section 3 assault charges of a 17-year-old man. After mooning the judge, Brian Joyce turned around, exposed his penis and shouted at the judge. As gardaí in court restrained the 21-year old and his 18-year old brother, Judge Durcan retreated from his bench into his adjoining chambers.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): David Merlin
Title: Free the Artist - Jail the Judge
Sources: The Irish Times, Oct. 28, 2015,; Smith's Report, no. 219, February 2016, pp. 9f.
Published: 2016-02-02
First posted on CODOH: Nov. 29, 2015, 1:58 p.m.
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