Archive | March, 2009

London: Escaped Arsonist Hands Himself In To Police

31 Mar

By J. P. Anderson:

Police have arrested a convicted arsonist who escaped from Pentonville prison clinging to the underside of a security van.

39-year-old Julien Chautard was arrested in the Piccadilly area of central London shortly before 9am this morning.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said his friends and family encouraged him to call police.

Chautard made a phone call to Islington CID and told Detective Inspector Yasmin Lalani that he would be in Piccadilly this morning.

Detective Inspector Lalani thanked Chautard’s family, members of the public and the media, saying "without their help this positive result might not have been possible."

Chautard was sentenced to seven years in jail at Snaresbrook Crown Court last week.

But the convict spent just minutes inside Pentonville prison in north London before he slipped out underneath the van he had arrived in.

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Substance Misuse Among Ireland’s Children: Report

31 Mar

by Brigid Pike
On 9 December 2008 the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Chris Andrews TD, launched State of the nation’s children: Ireland 2008 (SONC 2008).1 As with the first report, published in 2006, the 2008 report presents key indicators on aspects of children’s lives, including outcomes on their education, health and social, emotional and behavioural well-being; their relationships with their parents and their friends; and the services available to and accessed by them.

The report includes four measures of the use of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs among Irish children aged between 9 and 17 years. The data are taken from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey 2006.2 This survey is part of a cross-national research study conducted every four years in collaboration with the World Health Organization; in 2006, 41 countries and regions participated. SONC 2008 reports that in 2006 Irish children exceeded the international HBSC average with regard to all four measures of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drug use.

Substance use among Irish children in 2006:

Two measures of the level of support services for children – referrals to the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme and admissions to psychiatric hospitals – also contain data relating to substance use among the children receiving these services.3

Referrals to Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme

In 2007, a total of 21,861 children aged 10–17 were referred to the Garda Juvenile Diversion

Programme. It should be noted that the number of referrals does not correspond to the number of children since some children were referred more than once. Thus, in 2007, there were 27,767 referrals to the programme, a rate of 1.3 referrals per child referred.

Alcohol-related offences were the single highest cause of referrals to the programme in 2007, representing 19.9% of all referrals. Traffic offences and theft accounted for a further 15.8% and 15.2% of referrals respectively. Only 3.5% of referrals were for possession of drugs.

Admissions to psychiatric hospitals

In 2006, there were 398 admissions of children to psychiatric hospitals, 65 more than in 2005. In 2006, the most common reason for children being admitted to psychiatric hospitals was for depressive disorders (29.6%). Other common reasons included neuroses (14.1%) and schizophrenia (8.0%). Alcoholic disorders accounted for 4.3% of admissions and drug dependence for 5.8% of admissions. (Brigid Pike)

1. Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (2008) State of the nation’s children: Ireland 2008. Dublin: Stationery Office. Retrieved on 21 January 2009 at

www.omc.gov.ie Retrieved

2. Nic Gabhainn S, Kelly C and Molcho M (2007) The Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2006. Dublin: Department of Health and Children. Retrieved on 21 January 2009 at www.nuigalway.ie/hbsc/ For a summary of the substance-related data contained in HBSC 2006, see D Mongan (2007) Third HBSC study reports findings. Drugnet Ireland, (24): 14–15.

3. SONC 2008 obtained this data from the Garda Síochána and the National Psychiatric In-Patient Reporting System, Health Research Board, respectively.

(Source: Drugnet Ireland: Issue 29 Spring 2009).

ALSO:

Trends in alcohol and drug admissions to psychiatric facilities
by Jean Long

Activities of Irish psychiatric units and hospitals 2007

, the annual report published by the Mental Health Research Unit of the Health Research Board in December 2008, shows that the total number of admissions to inpatient care has continued to fall.1

In 2007, 2,699 cases were admitted to psychiatric facilities with an alcohol disorder, of whom 808 were treated for the first time.1 Figure 1 presents the rates of first admission between 1990 and 2007 of cases with a diagnosis of alcohol disorder, per 100,000 of the population.1-6 It is notable that the rate decreased steadily between 1991 and 2004 and more than halved during the reporting period. The rate stabilised in 2004 and 2005, but decreased again in 2006 and 2007. The trend since the early nineties reflects changes in alcohol treatment policy and practice, and the resultant increase in community-based and special residential alcohol treatment services. Of the 2,743 discharges with an alcohol disorder, just under 44% spent less than one week in hospital and 17% spent more than one month in hospital. Whether or not these admissions were appropriate, and in line with the recommendations of the mental health policy, A vision for change, could not be discerned from the report as the numbers with co-morbid illness were not reported.

In 2006, 724 cases were admitted to psychiatric facilities with a drug disorder, of whom 265 were treated for the first time.1 The report does not present data on drug use and psychiatric co-morbidity, so it is not possible to determine whether or not these admissions were appropriate. Figure 2 presents the rates of first admission between 1990 and 2007 of cases with a diagnosis of drug disorder, per 100,000 of the population.1-6 The rate increased steadily between 1990 and 1995, with a dip in 1996, and further annual increases between 1997 and 2001. The rate was almost three times higher in 2001 than it was in 1990. Notable dips in the rate occur in the census years 1996 and 2002, and can be partly explained by the increased population figure used as the denominator in calculating the rate for those years.

The overall increase in the rate of drug-related first admissions between 1990 and 2001 reflects the increase in problem drug use in Ireland and its burden on the psychiatric services. The overall decrease in the rate since 2001 possibly reflects an increase in community-based specialised addiction services during this period. The increased rate in 2005 may be accounted for by the use of the 2002 census figure in calculating the rate. The decrease to 5.9 in 2006 reflects the new census figure used as denominator. The rate increased marginally to 6.3 in 2007. Of the 776 discharges with a drug disorder, 51% spent less than one week in hospital and just under 13% spent more than one month in hospital. (Jean Long)

(Source: Drugnet Ireland: Issue 29 Spring 2009).

Cannabis Use In Ireland: Survey Result

31 Mar

by Jean Long:
The third bulletin of results from the 2006/7 all-Ireland general population drug prevalence survey1 (a follow-on from the first such survey in 2002/32) focuses on cannabis use in the adult population (15-64 years) and patterns of cannabis use. The final achieved sample was 4,967 in Ireland. This represented a response rate of 65%.

This article highlights some of the survey findings and presents unpublished data from the National Drug Treatment Reporting System (NDTRS), the National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI) and Garda records.

Comparison of survey findings

Cannabis use increased over the four years between the two surveys. The proportion of adults who reported using cannabis at some point in their lives (ever used) increased from 17% in 2002/3 to 22% in 2006/7. The proportion of young adults who reported using cannabis in their lifetime also increased, from 24% in 2002/3 to 29% in 2006/7.

The proportion of adults who reported using cannabis in the last year (recent use) increased from 5% in 2002/3 to 6% in 2006/7. The proportion of young adults who reported using cannabis in the last year increased from 9% in 2002/3 to 10% in 2006/7.

The proportion of adults who reported using cannabis in the last month (current use) remained stable at 2.6%.

Practices among users – 2006/7 survey

Those who had ever used:

Half of all cannabis users had first used the drug before they were 18 years old. The lifetime prevalence rate was higher for men (27%) than for women (17%).

Regular users: Over one-quarter (26%) of respondents who had ever taken cannabis reported using (or having used) it regularly. The lag time between first use and regular use was two years. Of those who were or had been regular users, two-thirds (66%) said that they had stopped taking cannabis, 10% said that they had tried to stop but failed and almost one-quarter (24%) had never tried to stop. Of those who had stopped, approximately one-third (32%) said they had done so because they no longer wanted to take the drug, 19% said they had health concerns and 17% said it was no longer part of their social life.

Recent users: The majority (62%) of recent cannabis users considered it ‘very easy’ or ‘fairly easy’ to obtain the drug within a 24-hour period. Over half (57%) reported obtaining the cannabis they had last used at the house of friends, 12% obtained it in the street/park, 8% in a disco/bar/club and 5% ordered it by phone. The majority (44%) got the cannabis they had last used from a family member or friend, 28% had shared it among friends and 22% had bought it.

Current users:

The majority (60%) of current cannabis users reported using a form of cannabis resin. Almost two-in-five (38%) reported using a form of herbal cannabis. Approximately 24% used the drug daily in the month prior to the survey, a further 10% used it several times a week, 28% used it at least once a week and 37% used it less than once a week. Men were more frequent users than women. Almost all (99%) smoked it as a joint (93%), in a pipe (4%) or in a bong (3%): less than 1% ate the drug.

NDTRS data

Analysis from the NDTRS indicates that the number of treated cases reporting cannabis as a main problem drug decreased from 1,384 in 2003 to 958 in 2007 (Table 2), of whom 74% used one or more additional drugs. The number of cases reporting cannabis as an additional problem drug increased from 1,383 in 2001 to 1,630 in 2007 (Table 3). The drugs associated with cannabis use were alcohol, ecstasy, amphetamines and cocaine (Table 4). These data indicate that only a small proportion of cannabis users are seen at treatment services, and that the majority of those use more than one drug.

Of the 958 cases treated in 2007 who reported cannabis as their main problem drug, 99% smoked it, and 1% ate it. Use by these cases in the month prior to treatment was reported as follows: 49% used it daily, 22% used it between two and six days per week, 8% used it once per week or less and 19% had not used it. As expected, the frequency of cannabis use among treated cases was considerably higher than that among the general survey population.

Of these 958 cases, half had commenced cannabis use before they were 14 years old, and 86% were men. Of the total number, 109 (11%) lived in Dublin and 849 (89%) lived elsewhere in Ireland. The numbers reflect the greater availability of treatment for cannabis, cocaine and other non-opiate drugs in Dublin, rather than use among the general population.

NDRDI data

According to data from the NDRDI, the number of poisoning deaths in which cannabis was implicated, alone or with another drug, was extremely small.3

Garda data

Cannabis accounts for the majority of all drugs seized in Ireland. Of the 8,417 reported drug seizures in 2006, 4,243 (50.4%) were of cannabis.4 The cannabis seizure data is in line with the use of cannabis among the general population prevalence data indicating that it is the most common illegal drug used in Ireland.

(Jean Long)

1. National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Drug and Alcohol Information and Research Unit (2008) Drug use in Ireland and Northern Ireland. 2006/2007 drug prevalence survey: cannabis results. Bulletin 3. Dublin: National Advisory Committee on Drugs.

2. National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Drug and Alcohol Information and Research Unit (2005) Drug use in Ireland and Northern Ireland. 2002/2003 drug prevalence survey: cannabis results. Bulletin 3. Dublin: National Advisory Committee on Drugs.

3. Lyons S, Lynn E, Walsh S and Long J (2008) Trends in drug-related deaths and deaths among drug users in Ireland, 1998 to 2005. HRB Trends Series 4. Dublin: Health Research Board.

4. Alcohol and Drug Research Unit (2008) 2008 National Report (2007 data) to the EMCDDA by the Reitox National Focal Point. Ireland: new developments, trends and in-depth information on selected issues. Dublin: Health Research Board.

(Source: Drugnet Ireland issue 29 Spring 2009).

Dublin: Coolock Murder Victim Warned Of Death Threat

31 Mar

By J. P. Anderson:

A man found dead in Coolock in Dublin yesterday afternoon had been warned by gardaí earlier this year that his life was in danger.

David Lynch, who was also known as Fred Lynch, was to have celebrated his 26th birthday last Sunday, however gardaí believe he was shot at least three times in the head that day on waste ground at the back of Newtown apartments off Belcamp Lane.

His body was found yesterday afternoon by a person who was out walking a dog.

The father-of-one was known to the gardaí and had convictions for drugs, robbery and theft offences.

Mr Lynch recently served a sentence in Northern Ireland and was also involved in an ongoing feud in Coolock, which led to a number of shootings and murder attempts over the past few years.

He was also a suspect in a shooting last weekend, where a man was shot in the leg in the Coolock area and is still being treated in hospital.

Mr Lynch is the tenth person involved in crime who has been shot dead this year.

A post mortem examination is due to be carried out later this morning at Beaumont Hospital.

ADDITION:

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING the shooting dead of a gangland figure whose body was discovered dumped near a suburban apartment block believe the murder may be linked to a shooting in Darndale at the weekend.

The body of David Fred Lynch (26) was discovered by a member of the public at 4pm yesterday on waste ground beside Darndale, north Dublin. He had been shot three times in the head.

The killing is the 10th gun murder so far this year.

Another Dublin gangland figure is missing presumed dead since January and a Limerick gangland figure accidentally fatally shot himself in the head last week. Two other Irish drug dealers have been murdered in Spain and the Netherlands this year.

Garda sources say while the number of fatal shootings this year is high, progress is being made in a number of cases and some suspects have already been charged.

The latest body was found on waste ground at the rear perimeter wall of the Cúirt Baile Nua estate between Belcamp Lane and the N32, off the Malahide Road at Darndale. Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis carried out an examination before the body was taken to nearby Beaumont Hospital for a postmortem this morning.

Mr Lynch, a father of one with addresses in Darndale and Ballymun, was a known drug dealer who was wounded in a shooting in Ballymun in 2006. He lost a kidney as a result of that attack.

He was suspected of involvement in a number of serious shooting incidents. The most recent of those took place in Darndale in the early hours of last Sunday morning.

A number of criminals made their way on foot to a meeting spot in Darndale. One of the group unexpectedly produced a handgun during the meeting and shot one of the other men. The victim, a drug dealer from Kilbarrack in north Dublin, was wounded in the leg but survived.

Garda intelligence suggests Mr Lynch was at the scene and that a close associate of his was the gunman. Gardaí believe Mr Lynch may have been murdered, most likely on Sunday night, in revenge for that attack.

Gardaí are now fearful the murder will prompt a sustained feud as Mr Lynch’s associates seek to avenge his killing.

In January, when a drug dealer was shot and wounded in a drug-related incident at a house in Kinsealy, north Dublin, Mr Lynch was regarded as a suspect. The intended victim fled upstairs with his partner and locked themselves into a bedroom with their baby son. The gunman fired through the bedroom door wounding the victim three times.

Mr Lynch had convictions for road traffic offences and drugs and was released from prison in Northern Ireland last September after a serving a sentence for theft.

Dublin: SF Cllr Daithi Doolan Launches People Centered Re-election Campaign

30 Mar

By J. P. Anderson:

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Daithi Doolan has today launched his campaigned for re-election in Dublin’s South East Inner City. Doolan said his campaigned will be, "positive, proactive and people centred."

Speaking at this morning’s launch, Councillor Doolan said, "Since the last local election in 2004 the world has been turned upside. The old certainties are gone. Here in Dublin’s inner city the challenges are immense. People face an unsure future, with a daily diet of dole que’s and cutbacks. Now is a time for co-operation and solidarity within communities in Dublin. If re-elected I will work in coalition with communities across the inner city and with all parties in City Hall to deliver jobs, homes and safer, cleaner environment."

Doolan said a priority for Dublin must be jobs, "We face an economic crisis in Dublin that will not affect every community equally, with some neighbourhoods being affected worse than others. We must avoid creating the economic black spots of the 80’s. The priority must be jobs and training. Political representatives need to show leadership and work with all sectors of society and other parties to keep Dublin working. I am currently Chairing the Dublin Economic Task Force which is working with all statutory agencies, including the IDA, FAS and Enterprise Ireland to ensure we fight for every job in Dublin. That task force will be action based and will be meeting again within 2 weeks to agree a work plan."

In conclusion Doolan said, "All seats and all votes are up for grabs, its now up to the people to decide who they think will best run this great City."

Dublin: Murdered Remains Of Man Found In Coolock

30 Mar

By J. P. Anderson:

A body has been discovered in Coolock in Dublin this afternoon.

It is understood the body is that of a man in his late 20s or early 30s.

It was discovered in an area off Belcamp Lane in Coolock at about 4pm by a member of the public.

The scene is preserved for technical examination and the office of the State Pathologist has been notified.

Izevbekhai’s Asylum Application Based On Deceit

29 Mar

By J. P. Anderson:

The Minister for Integration has described an admission by a Nigerian mother that she used fake documents to assist her high profile asylum case here, as a matter of concern.

Earlier, it emerged Pamela Izevbekhai had used a fake death certificate for her daughter, and a forged affidavit from a doctor in Nigeria, in support of her argument that its not safe for her family to return to Nigeria.

Conor Lenihan said the matter will be examined fully by the courts.

He added that during a visit to Nigeria last week he was assured female circumcision was not widespread.

Ms Izevbekhai is standing over her claim that she did have another daughter, Elizabeth, who died in 1994 as a result of female genital mutilation.

She claims that if sent back to Nigeria her surviving daughters’ lives will be put at risk.

Ms Izevbekhai was responding to newspaper reports claiming that a Nigerian obstetrician and gynaecologist denied earlier claims that he had delivered Elizabeth, and had treated her again when she died.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s Marian Finucane Show, Ms Izevbekhai said ‘I know that this doctor is refuting everything’, but she insisted that her daughter Elizabeth ‘is real…she lived and died’.

Listen to the full interview

‘I am in this country for the reason that I claim and that is the truth’, Ms Izevbekhai said.

‘I did not lie. I am here to protect my children…whatever I have to do to protect my children I will do…I have already lost one child I will not lose more’.

‘If I did not have a fear of FGM I would not be here’, she said, adding that ‘the Nigerian authorities cannot give me safety’.

Responding to Ms Finucane’s remark that ‘If this documentation is fake it is very difficult for…any court to find in your favour’, Ms Izevbekhai said that her husband was asked for money upon requesting the report from the doctor in question.

Asked what her legal advisers are saying, Ms Izevbekhai said she has ‘to wait’ and confirmed that her case to remain in Ireland, and prevent deportation, is scheduled to be heard this Friday.

‘I don’t know what is going on right now’, she said.

‘There is a lot that I cannot say; there is a lot that I cannot explain’.

Asked about the matters she could not talk about, Ms Izevbekhai said ‘you cannot explain what you can’t see’.

‘I need to be careful please…I do not have legal backing as I speak to you now’, she said.

Asked about its reaction to the latest developments in the case, a spokesman for the Department of Justice said it cannot comment on cases which are currently before the courts.

UPDATE:

LAWYERS ACTING for Pamela Izevbekhai are expected to seek to withdraw from the case on Friday, forcing the collapse of her Supreme Court challenge, after she admitted at the weekend that documents used in her legal battle against deportation were forged.

Ms Izevbekhai, who claims her two daughters would be subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) if they returned to Nigeria, must present proof to her legal team that she had a baby daughter, Elizabeth, who, as Ms Izevbekhai has stated in a series of legal challenges, died from blood loss as a result of the procedure.

Legal sources said last night that if she failed to come up with compelling evidence in the coming days, it was likely that her lawyers would apply to come off record in the Supreme Court on Friday.

There was speculation last night that this would effectively mean the end of her challenge in the European Court of Human Rights, increasing the likelihood that authorities here will move swiftly to deport the Izevbekhai family.

The Sligo-based Nigerian woman acknowledged yesterday that documents used in her legal challenge were bogus. She said her husband had admitted to her on Friday that he had obtained fake documents after the doctor who had treated Elizabeth demanded a substantial payment in exchange for the genuine papers.

Ms Izevbekhai was responding to media reports quoting a Nigerian obstetrician and gynaecologist denying earlier claims that he had delivered Elizabeth or had treated her again when she died. The Sunday Times reported that the doctor refused to answer detailed questions unless he was paid €5,000.

Ms Izevbekhai insisted on RTÉ radio yesterday that she had not lied. “The existence of Elizabeth is real. She lived and she died,” Ms Izevbekhai said. “I am in this country for the reason that I claim and that is the truth . . . I did not lie. Whatever I have to do to protect my children I will do . . . I have already lost one child. I will not lose more. If I did not have a fear of FGM, I would not be here,” she continued, adding that she believed the Nigerian authorities could not guarantee her safety.

In a statement, the Irish Refugee Council, which had supported Ms Izevbekhai’s campaign, said the facts in the case that Elizabeth died as a result of severe bleeding due to FGM were never disputed by the State during the legal process to date.

“The argument centred on whether Pamela’s daughters would be safe if returned to Nigeria,” it said. “All of us who campaigned around this issue believed that they would not be safe due to the compelling evidence on the practice of FGM in Nigeria.”

A Sligo-based group which had campaigned on behalf of Ms Izevbekhai continued to stand by her last night. “I would urge people to remember that this is not about paperwork – it is still about the safety of two little girls,” said a spokesperson for the Let Them Stay organisation.

UPDATE:

By J. P. Anderson:

LAWYERS FOR asylum seekers Pamela Izevbekhai and her two daughters are to seek the Supreme Court’s permission to withdraw from the case, it was confirmed last night.

Sources said this was because the legal team felt it was not tenable for them to be party to an action based on a fraudulent document.

On Sunday Ms Izevbekhai admitted on RTÉ radio’s Marian Finucane Show that documents she used in court actions, opposing her own and her daughters’ deportation to Nigeria were forged.

The case is scheduled for the Supreme Court on Friday.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Integration Conor Lenihan rejected to criticism of him in some media yesterday.

On Sunday he said he had been assured on a visit to Nigeria last week that female circumcision was not widespread there.

“I simply quoted what Nigeria’s attorney general and minister for justice, the chief law officer of the state, said at an open press conference in Abuja [the Nigerian capital] attended by 27 national and international journalists.

“There he said he would be delighted to appear as a witness in any court case in Ireland and Europe to testify that there was no danger of female genital mutilation where any woman returning to Nigeria was concerned,” Mr Lenihan said.

He also recalled that the Nigerian attorney general and minister for Justice Michael Aondoakaa had described as “liars” those Nigerians who claimed a risk of female genital mutilation at home when making asylum applications abroad.

“I was simply quoting what he and several other ministers had said,” Mr Lenihan recalled.

He also noted that “some of those most critical of me have been sponsoring a case which is demonstrably based on a forgery”.

Their criticisms were “wide of the mark”, he said.

Noeline Blackwell, director general of Free Legal Aid Centres (Flac) and an expert in refugee law, has described the legal situation surrounding Ms Izevbekhai and her daughters as “unprecedented”.

It was “extremely complicated”, she added.

Ms Izevbekhai “still claims she needs protection”. Up to two weeks ago everyone accepted she had lost a child due to female genital mutilation, but now it appeared from media reports this might not be so, Ms Blackwell said.

Legally, she said, the situation was “a nightmare for all concerned”.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said that the State’s apparent delay in investigating the four-year-old case was initially due to restraints imposed under the 1996 Refugee Act.

It prohibits such investigations during an asylum seeker application process.

However, once a decision had been made on an application and when the process had been exhausted, such legal inhibition disappeared.

Findings in the case, by gardaí and Irish officials, have already been forwarded to the European Court in Strasbourg and will be presented in the Supreme Court on Friday.

Yesterday, the Sligo-based Let Them Stay group called on Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern to grant Ms Izevbekhai and her daughters leave to remain in Ireland.

The group believed that revelations that some documents were fake did not undermine the veracity of Ms Izevbekhai’s case.

UPDATE:

THE STATE has told the Supreme Court that it has evidence which, if true, means the lengthy legal bid by Nigerian mother Pamela Izevbekhai to prevent deportation proceeded on “a lie . . . so fundamental” that her case should be dismissed as an abuse of court process.

The Supreme Court yesterday agreed to admit that material, contained in four affidavits, but adjourned the State’s follow-up application to have Ms Izevbekhai’s action struck out as an abuse of court process and also adjourned an application by her lawyers to cease representing her.

The Chief Justice, Mr Justice John Murray, sitting with Mr Justice Hugh Geoghegan and Mrs Justice Fidelma Macken, said it would deal with both those matters on a date to be fixed in the next legal term, which opens on April 20th.

Having been told Ms Izevbekhai was seeking new lawyers, the court also directed that any replying affidavits from her to the State’s affidavits should be filed within two weeks.

Sligo-based Ms Izevbekhai had in 2006 initiated her legal action to prevent the deportation of herself and her two young daughters Naomi (7) and Jemima (6) on the grounds that they would be subjected to female genital mutilation.

Last weekend, Ms Izevbekhai acknowledged some documents supplied to the court in support of her action were forged but stood over her claim that she had had a baby daughter, Elizabeth, who died from blood loss as a result of female genital mutilation.

She said her husband, who is in Nigeria, had admitted to her that he obtained fake documents after the doctor who had treated Elizabeth demanded a substantial payment in exchange for the genuine papers.

Ms Izevbekhai was responding to media reports quoting a Nigerian obstetrician and gynaecologist denying earlier claims that he had delivered Elizabeth or had treated her again when she died.

The Sunday Times also reported that the doctor had refused to answer detailed questions unless he was paid €5,000.

The admission of bogus documents has led to the application by her solicitor Gabriel Toolan and her existing counsel to cease acting for her in her Supreme Court appeal against a High Court rejection of her case. The proceedings were before the Supreme Court yesterday via a motion by the State to have the four affidavits admitted in the appeal.

At the outset, Mel Christle SC, for Ms Izevbekhai, asked for an adjournment, but Hugh Mohan SC, for the State, objected to any adjournment.

Mr Mohan said that if the court agreed to admit the affidavits, it should draw inferences from the material in those that this was a fraudulent case and strike out the appeal.

The matter has been before the High Court 22 times and, if the content of one of the affidavits was true, it had proceeded on “a lie that is so fundamental” the case should be struck out, he said. Mr Christle said he wanted an adjournment because his solicitor wished to come off record and it appeared Ms Izevbekhai was seeking new lawyers. While it had been intended to apply to come off record now, his solicitor, following a consultation with Ms Izevbekhai just before the court sat, wanted an opportunity to elaborate on matters in his affidavit grounding the application to come off record.

Ms Izevbekhai was objecting to the admission of the State’s affidavits and wanted the application to admit that adjourned so she could deal with it through her new solicitors, counsel added.

In reply to the judges, counsel said they wished to come off record due to “conflicting instructions”. Asked what he meant, he said the conflict involved “goes to the root of the case”.

He added that he appreciated the duty incumbent on lawyers, under the Bar Council’s code of conduct, to inform the court but his side had not been directly informed of “the specific wrongdoing”.

Because of the situation, he was not in a position to deal with the State’s motion.

The Chief Justice said the court would allow in the State’s affidavits de bene esse (for the present), allow Ms Izevebkhai two weeks to reply to those and then, on a date to be fixed, deal both with the State’s application to dismiss and the motion to come off record. He listed the case for mention only on April 30th to update the court.

Mr Mohan said, if the material in the affidavit was correct, the courts had been fundamentally misled.

The Chief Justice said nothing further was to be said at this stage.

Mr Mohan said he just wished to say he could not overemphasise the seriousness with which the State viewed the matter and its anxiety that it be brought to an early conclusion. Mr Christle said his side accepted what Mr Mohan said as, he added, was their duty to the court.