By Anne Lucey
A judge has warned the public coming to court in Killarney that mobile phones will be confiscated unless they are switched off in his court room.
On Tuesday, two phones were confiscated in the District Court in Killarney after Judge David Waters ordered Gardai to “seize” the loudly ringing phones.
The judge then issued a general warning to the public to switch the phones off or they would be confiscated.
“Don’t text or look at phones in court!” Judge Waters warned.
A ban on mobile phone use by the public was introduced last November. Chief Justice Frank Clarke announced a ban on texting or using social media in courtrooms – but breaches of the direction occur.
A spokesperson for the courts service said the direction applies to all courts and mobile phone use by members of the public is banned in all courts. Bona fide members of the press were allowed phone use because they knew the rules applied to court proceedings and court reporting and what they can and cannot tweet, the spokesman said.
“Most people coming into court now made sure phones were switched off,” the courts service spokesman said.
However, phones going off and interrupting the court still occurs in Kerry during court proceedings, at both District and Circuit Court levels.
The confiscated phones were handed back at the end of the proceedings.