| 16.7°C Dublin

court hearing Five gardai remanded on charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice

The court was assured the book of evidence would be ready for service on the five defendants on July 2 next.


Close

Stock image

Stock image

Stock image

Four serving Gardaí and a retired superintendent have been remanded on charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice over fixed charge penalty points notices in respect of road traffic matters.

The State was granted a two week extension at Limerick District Court to finalise the book of evidence in relation to the case against the four serving officers and one retired officer.

However, solicitor Dan O'Gorman, who is acting for two of the defendants, objected to the extension of time and expressed his disquiet to Judge Marian O'Leary that the book of evidence was still not ready despite the lengthy investigation.

"I am not consenting (to an extension of time). This investigation has been ongoing for 84 weeks now."
"I just want to express my disappointment (at the ongoing delay). It is very surprising."

Judge O'Leary noted that the matter was first before Limerick District Court on May 14 last and the application involved the normal six week book of evidence service period.

She granted the two week extension after being informed by Detective Chief Superintendent Walter O'Sullivan that the book of evidence was now at an advanced stage.

"I am told that the book is well prepared," he said.

The court was assured the book of evidence would be ready for service on the five defendants on July 2 next.

None of the five - including retired Superintendent Edmund 'Eamon' O'Neill and Garda Tom McGlinchey, a former Waterford football manager - were present having been excused from attendance after being initially charged at a Limerick Garda Station in April and released on station bail.

Those charged included retired Superintendent Edmund 'Eamon' O'Neill formerly of Roxboro Garda Station; Garda Tom McGlinchey of Murroe Garda Station, Sergeant Michelle Leahy of Roxboro Garda Station, Garda Colm Geary of Clare Garda Division and Sergeant Ann-Marie Hassett, formerly of Henry Street Garda Station and currently of Kerry Garda Division.

Mr O'Gorman acts for Sergeant Ann-Marie Hassett and retired Superintendent Edmund 'Eamon' O'Neill.

All five face charges in respect of attempting to pervert the course of justice, contrary to Common Law, in respect of the operation of fixed charge penalty point notices issued to various civilians.

The charges cover various dates from October 9 2016 to September 6 2019.

All charges relate to addresses in the mid west area.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

A total of 42 charges are involved and involve road traffic issues including speeding, using a mobile phone while driving and failure to produce insurance details - all issued to civilian motorists as part of

fixed charge penalty notices.

A number of those civilians named on the charges as having been at the centre of alleged Road Traffic Act issues are well-known GAA figures including both players and officials

A number of media figures were also listed on the charges as having been involved in alleged Road Traffic Act detections

Mr O'Gorman told the court that the charges involved would be "vigorously contested."

Mr O'Neill faces the largest number of charges with 30. Mr Geary faces three charges, Mr McGlinchey faces four charges, Ms Hassett faces three charges and Ms Leahy faces two charges.

The other solicitors involved are Liz Hughes, Sarah Ryan and Dan Murphy.

One of the charges involves alleged advice offered to a civilian in terms of the operation of the penalty points system.

Another charge involves contact by one Garda to other Gardai intended to pervert the course of justice in respect of a speeding offence.

The four serving Gardai and the retired superintendent will now face trial by judge and jury before Limerick Circuit Criminal Court.

Detective Chief Superintendent Walter O'Sullivan previously gave evidence of arrest, caution and charge.

He said all five were arrested at Mayorstone Garda Station on April 29 for allegedly attempting to pervert the course of justice.

None of the five commented to arresting officers after formal caution, either replying "nothing to say" or making "no comment".
All five were released on station bail.

Det Chief Supt O'Sullivan told the court that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had directed trial by indictment in relation to all the matters before the court.

Judge O'Leary adjourned the matters against all five defendants until the July 2 sitting of Limerick District Court and remanded all five on continuing bail.

She said any applications should be made at that point.

The charges followed a two year investigation by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI).

All charges were levelled following submission of a detailed case file by the NBCI to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) last year.

The investigation included a major intelligence gathering operation and a series of co-ordinated searches across the midwest.

NBCI detectives suspected a number of fixed charge penalty point notices were not being proceeded with.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy