September 28, 2012

A Donegal coroner has asked Gardai to issue arrest warrants to more than 20 people who failed to turn up for jury service.

Coroner John Cannon was forced to delay an inquest into the deaths of two young men for more than an hour because not gather a jury.

The families of tragic Seamus McBride, 25, and PJ Crerand were forced to wait along with a number of Gardai and other witnesses while a jury was found.

Coroner Cannon, who was sitting at Letterkenny Coroner’s Court yesterday, was finally able to start the double-inquest when he mustered six jury members.

He revealed that a total of 30 possible jury members had been contacted but just two had come forward to Gardai to say they could not attend.

Coroner Cannon said this was simply not acceptable.

He said people seemed to think that it was their decision if they decided to turn up but it was not.

He reminded the court that people had an obligation under law to appear when summoned for jury duty.

He reminded the court that the penalty for non-attendance by a jury member was a fine of €500.

He instructed Garda Sgt Brigid McGowan, who was conducting the inquest for the State, to arrange to have the arrest warrants issued to the members of the public who did not appear for jury service.