LAWYERS acting for Judge Brian Curtin have sent another long letter to Leinster House rejecting the authority of a special Oireachtas Committee to remove the judge from office. As the letter arrived after office hours on Friday evening it will not be read by anybody until Tuesday.
According to legal sources the 12-page letter deals with the history of judicial impeachment in Britain and Ireland and calls into question the legitimacy of the decisions taken by the Dáil and Seanad during the week to set the wheels in motion for his removal.
One of the central claims in the letter is that it was illegal for the Oireachtas to change its standing orders and pass legislation designed to deal specifically with the case of one individual, Brian Curtin.
This claim is likely to be tested in the High Court by Curtin's lawyers, possibly as early as this week. The latest letter to the Oireachtas may be part of the process of laying the groundwork for an injunction to prevent the Oireachtas Committee doing its work.
The communication was dispatched by fax on Friday evening from the offices of Robert Pierce in Listowel but there was nobody in the Leinster House office to receive it at that stage.
A spokeswoman for the Oireachtas said they had been told a communication was on its way and somebody waited until 7.30pm to receive it but it never arrived. As it is the June bank holiday weekend, the fax will not be seen by anybody in Leinster House until Tuesday morning.
The communication was addressed to the Ceann Comhairle, Rory O'Hanlon, and to the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, Senator Rory Kiely, with instructions that copies be given to each of the seven members of the committee established to examine the Curtin case.
As the committee is now the sole body with responsibility for dealing with the issue the letter will be passed on to the members and not to the Ceann Comhairle and the Cathaoirleach.
The seven-member committee of TDs and senators, under the chairmanship of West Cork TD, Denis O'Donovan, will probably not be formally up and running for another week until legal backup and staffing arrangements have been put in place.
The hardline attitude being taken by Curtin's legal team is consistent with their approach since the controversy broke following the collapse of the case against the judge due to a legal technicality with the search warrant which the gardai used to raid his house in Tralee.
The judge's lawyers have indicated that they now intend to sue the state for substantial damages for trespass and wrongful seizure of property.
In the Dáil last week, justice minister Michael McDowell said that the judge's position on the bench was untenable in the light of the fact that the images found on his computer were those of "children engaged in explicit sexual activity or depicting the genital or anal region of a child".