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Former judge accused of accessing child sex abuse material makes appearance on RTÉ comedy show

Mr Curtin was never found guilty of any crime

A picture of former judge Brian Curtin as 'Brian the porter' in the RTE comedy show 'Big Night In'.

Stephen FernaneKerryman

A former Circuit Court judge accused of accessing child sex abuse images in 2002 has appeared on the RTÉ sketch show ‘Big Night In’ which was aired on prime-time television on Tuesday evening.

In the sketch, which took place in a Killarney hotel, it shows Brian Curtin playing the role of ‘Brian the porter’ who along with other actors are involved in a set up against a hotel receptionist who sees a couple’s wedding plans in the hotel turn to disaster.

Following the show on Tuesday evening – which is described by RTÉ as a ‘family entertainment show’ – The Kerryman received messages from some members of the public who did not agree with Mr Curtin’s appearance on an RTE sketch show, even though Mr Curtin was never found guilty of any crime.

In 2002, following a tip off from investigators in the US, Gardaí raided the Tralee home of Mr Curtin and seized a computer which is alleged to have held over 270 child pornography images.

In 2003 he was charged with possession of child pornography, but the trial was later thrown out after Judge Carroll Moran ruled that the 7-day search warrant used to confiscate Mr Curtin’s computer had been out of date. Curtin’s legal team argued that the material seized from his home should be declared inadmissible as it was obtained ‘unconstitutionally and unlawfully’.

In 2004, Mr Curtin was the focus of an Oireachtas Committee that sought an inquiry into the alleged mishandling of the case. Mr Curtin challenged the constitutionality of the Oireachtas Committee. The Committee also wanted Mr Curtin’s computer handed over for further examination. The Government later issued impeachment proceedings against the former judge which fell through following Mr Curtin’s resignation on health grounds.

Mr Curtin studied at Kings Inns, qualifying as a barrister in 1976. Curtin was involved in amateur drama in Tralee. He is a former member of the Fianna Fáil Party in Kerry, and he unsuccessfully contested the Local Elections in Tralee for the Progressive Democrats.

When contacted by The Kerryman, RTÉ said it commissioned Adare Productions to produce 'Big Night In' as part of its Christmas schedule. The programme included a sketch 'Kathleen's Country House'. Adare Productions used a local professional agency to hire all the actors involved in this sketch.

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