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The Viewing

Judge McMahon travelled to Lissadell to see the subject of the dispute between the owners and Sligo County Council about “public rights of way” on the estate.

From an evidential point of view this is equivalent to looking at the murder weapon in a criminal trial, or looking at a large machine which cannot be brought to court with convenience.

It is normal for the parties to the dispute to be given the opportunity to accompany the judge (or the jury, as the case may be) with legal advisors in the “viewing” by the finder of fact.

The reason for this is to ensure the adoption of fair procedures and to preclude the possibility of some novel (and irrelevant) element, unseen and unknown by, and to, the parties colouring the judge’s perception and opinion.