A Polish interpreter was criticised at Galway District Court this week by Judge Mary Fahy who complained the woman was not interpreting evidence being given in a drink driving case involving a Polish defendant.Judge Fahy told the 28-years-old interpreter from Lionbridge, the language company employed by the Courts Service to provide interpreters for foreign people coming before the courts with poor English, that she would not certify her for payment as she felt she was not translating everything that was being said for the benefit of the accused man.
Before the court was Wojciech Kowalczyk, 54 Cluain Dara, Western Distributor Road, Galway, who pleaded guilty to drink driving on October 20 last year near his address. Inspector Pat McHugh was giving evidence in the case and had just mentioned that the results of a breath sample taken from the accused showed a reading of 56mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of breath, when Judge Mary Fahy called attention to the interpreter.
The judge said she had been watching the interpreter and she noticed she had not translated the breath sample reading for the accused.Judge Fahy said that during her 15 years on the bench she had only ever made one formal complaint about an interpreter and she said she would be dictating a letter of complaint again to Lionbridge about the interpreter present in court.
Defence solicitor Valerie Corcoran said her client works on the buildings in Galway.
Judge Fahy convicted and fined him €500 and disqualified him from driving for two years and one day.