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sent for trial Prominent defence lawyer accused of attacking former colleague calls case a 'fine piece of fiction'

Cahir O'Higgins is accused of assaulting solicitor Stephen O'Mahony

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Cahir O'Higgins

Cahir O'Higgins

Cahir O'Higgins

A prominent criminal defence lawyer accused of assaulting and harassing a former colleague said the case against him was a “fine piece of fiction” as he was sent for trial.

Cahir O’Higgins (46) is accused of inflicting a facial injury in an attack on solicitor Stephen O’Mahony on Dublin’s quays.

He is also alleged to have harassed him over an eight-month period.

A book of evidence was served on Mr O’Higgins when he appeared in Dublin District Court today.

Judge Treasa Kelly sent him forward to the next sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Mr O’Higgins, whose practice is at Dublin’s Parkgate Street, is charged with assault causing harm to Mr O’Mahony at Wolfe Tone Quay on February 11 this year. He is also accused of harassing him from June 25, 2020 until February 11 this year.

He is further charged with two minor assaults on Mr O'Mahony at the Criminal Courts of Justice last January 15 and December 14.

The DPP directed trial on indictment on the more serious charges.

Today, a state solicitor said the book of evidence was ready and it was served on Mr O’Higgins by Detective Garda Niall Cadden.

Defence solicitor Donal Quigley said he appeared for the accused.

The state solicitor said the DPP was consenting to Mr O'Higgins being sent for trial to the next sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, on the two charges contained in the book.

Mr O'Higgins read through the document while he stood in the dock. The judge asked him to confirm he had received a copy of the book and he replied: “it’s a fine piece of fiction.”

The judge said she was sending Mr O’Higgins forward to the circuit court on a date in November, on existing bail conditions which he had signed up to.

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Judge Kelly told him if he had an alibi as part of his defence, he must put the prosecution on notice of it.

Mr O’Higgins said he understood “the charges and bail conditions and everything.”

The lesser assault charges were adjourned for six months, to be added to the indictment.

Mr O’Higgins thanked the judge before leaving court.

Previously, the court heard the accused made no reply to the more serious assault charge.

In part of his response to the harassment charge, Mr O’Higgins said: "You are charging me with harassment to create a misleading narrative of something sinister, unsavoury and malicious, when it is nothing of the sort. This was a commercial dispute and one punch in the most exhausting of circumstances, not harassment.”

Mr O’Mahony had worked at the defendant’s firm for several years until 2020, when he established his own practice in Dublin, with offices on Camden Street.

In 2017, Mr O’Higgins was the highest paid legal aid solicitor in the country and over the past decade has been among the top earners from the scheme.

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