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Fears that further delays in Jim Mansfield Jnr trial could 'create problems for witnesses'

The trial was due to recommence at the Special Criminal Court next week

Jim Mansfield Jnr

Eoin Reynolds

The trial of businessman Jim Mansfield Jnr could face further delay six months after it was put on hold to allow his lawyers view 12 days of CCTV footage that had not previously been disclosed by gardai.

The trial was due to recommence at the Special Criminal Court next week but Tony McGillicuddy BL, for Mr Mansfield, on Monday said defence senior counsel Bernard Condon is involved in another trial that will not finish in time.

Caroline Cummings BL, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, said further delay is a "disappointing turn of events" that will create problems for witnesses who are in the witness protection program.

Mr Justice Alexander Owens said he could not entertain any application for an adjournment until the three judges hearing the trial are present. He said the court will consider an application for adjournment next Wednesday, but added: "We are going to try and get this case going again. We can't keep banging these cases back."

Mr Mansfield Jnr (53), of Tasaggart House, Garters Lane, Saggart, Co Dublin, is accused of conspiring with one or more persons to falsely imprison Martin Byrne on a date unknown between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015, both dates inclusive.

He is also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by directing Patrick Byrne to destroy recorded CCTV footage, with the alleged intention of perverting the course of public justice in relation to the false imprisonment of Martin Byrne at Finnstown House Hotel, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co Dublin between June 9, 2015 and June 12, 2015.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to both counts.

Jim Mansfield jnr

Martin Byrne (53) has testified that Mr Mansfield Jnr was "a couple of feet away" when he was taken prisoner by a gang of men, which included former INLA man Dessie O'Hare and former Republican paramilitary Declan "Whacker" Duffy, after a meeting at a warehouse at Keatings Park in west Dublin. In his evidence, Mr Byrne said that he believed Mr Mansfield Jnr had set him up.

Martin Byrne is now in the Witness Protection Programme (WPP) along with his wife Lisa Byrne and their son Brandon Byrne (24).

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