“It was all a terrible Moustache” he said…
Willie O’Dea did not provide the court with inaccurate evidence. He provided the court with untrue evidence, and there is a huge difference between the two.
Inaccurate evidence can be corrected but untrue evidence can only be withdrawn, just as Willie O’Dea’s had to be when it was shown to be false.
Inaccurate evidence might suggest that a man was driving at 40 mph when in fact he was driving at 50 mph. This can be corrected.
Untrue evidence might suggest that a man never accused another of running a brothel when in fact he did make such an accusation. This evidence can only be withdrawn if it turns out to be false, as Willie O’Dea’s evidence was.
Here is what Willie O’Dea told the Dáil, our national parliament.
When I later saw a transcript of the interview I saw that I had, contrary to my recollection, gone further in what I had said and what had been quoted in the newspaper.
I took the initiative. I went to my solicitor and immediately corrected my affidavit.
This statement by Willie O’Dea is not in accordance with the facts. It is not what happened.
Willie O’Dea did not correct his affidavit, because it is not legally possible to do so.
He took back what he had said, in the hope that he would escape the consequences of swearing something that was untrue.
An affidavit is a categorical statement of fact, sworn under oath, and Willie O’Dea, who claims to be a trained lawyer, knows this perfectly well.
Nevertheless, he attempted to persuade the Dáil otherwise.
What has happened in this instance was that the evidence I gave to the court was mistaken. Evidence and testimony is regularly corrected in courts without allegations and assertions of lying and perjury being levelled.
This is wrong.
Sworn evidence to the court is not corrected. If evidence is found to be misleading or inaccurate, the court decides if the person giving the evidence has deliberately lied. This is how Jeffrey Archer went to jail.
In this case, the court relied on the sworn evidence supplied by Willie O’Dea and ruled against his opponent. It later turned out that O’Dea’s evidence was not simply inaccurate. It was untrue.
Consequently, Willie O’Dea has misled the national parliament, and by extension, the voting public.