'Childish prank': James Carey

AN election candidate who claims his prosecution for shooting a garda superintendant's wife in the backside with a pellet gun was politically motivated will name his alleged conspirators in the High Court this Tuesday.

Meath political activist James Carey was arrested on the morning of the local elections in June, in a move that he says cost him a council seat.

And he believes that the 2001 charges re-emerged more than eight years after the incident as a result of political opponents who did not wish to see him elected.

Although he faces charges at Drogheda District Court of recklessly discharging a firearm, Carey was granted leave to seek a judicial review against Judge Flann Brennan, the Garda Commissioner and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

A hearing in relation to that application is due before the High Court on Tuesday, where Carey will seek to elaborate on why he feels there was an "inordinate and inexcusable" delay in the execution of a warrant for his arrest.

"We have sought leave for a judicial review which has been granted so Tuesday represents an opportunity for the state to decide whether they want to drop the charges or proceed with them," he told the Sunday Tribune.

"I am looking forward to an opportunity to level out the playing field which is the beauty of our system – that
an independent candidate can take on the system and win."

Carey says he intends to name those people in court who he suspects as having conspired to have him arrested on the morning of the local elections.

"I would have been elected had it not been for the adverse publicity [surrounding the arrest]," he said.

Carey also believes that political rivals were operating a smear campaign against him on doorsteps in Meath during the election campaign.

His pending charges and court appearance relate to an incident in February, 2001, when he allegedly fired a pellet gun at the backside of a woman who turned out to be the wife of a garda superintendent.

"It's gone from being a childish prank to being akin to a terrorist charge. It happened a decade ago," he said.

"I have apologised to any person I feel [was] aggrieved by this.

"Shooting a woman in the bum with a pellet gun as she walked past and escaping, it was a childish prank."

In an affidavit, Carey has argued that the delay in prosecuting the case is "inexcusable and contrary to natural and constitutional justice".

The initial case against him in 2001 was adjourned. He later left for England but explained that, having heard nothing of any garda efforts to contact him, felt the case had been dropped.