The grand old lady who is widely accepted by people in every corner of the country as “Ireland’s most famous mother” received quite a shock in the post last week when she received a summons to appear in court. What makes the story rather unusual is that the good lady is a lively 93 years of age, has never committed a crime in her life and is the mother of our Donegal’s greatest ambassador, Daniel O’Donnell.
Julia O’Donnell who is synonymous with making really great cups of tea as well as her knitting skills and a truly great mother received the rather official looking notification recently and after a short flurry of panic was relieved to discover that she was only summonsed for jury duty.
The same lady is well used to receiving official letters from people in exceptionally high places including one from His Holiness, Pope Benedict after she knitted a few pairs of her famous socks for him but she did confess that she did get a bit of a shock at the possible court appearance.
Julia is well known for her wisdom and public opinion in West Donegal indicated that she would be well fit for jury duty and would have superb judgement.
One local from Kincasslagh remarked, “If Julia was to serve on the jury there would be no need for a judge - the same woman would be able to make up her mind in an impartial manner very quickly.
“Sure didn’t she rare a great family with everyone of them doing so well?”
The Donegal Democrat contacted the Court Service who said that there was no upper age limit on service and added that names are randomly selected from the Electoral Register which does not contain details of age.
The spokesperson added that if someone of a senior age was capable and anxious to serve on a jury they would be more than entitled to.
Lest this newspaper create a flurry of interest in Donegal Town next week where the Circuit Court sits we can confirm that Julia has declined the offer allowing some younger person to gain the experience.