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'Untold stress' ‘Scissor Sister’ Charlotte Mulhall drops damages claim over transfer following prison ‘liaisons’

Despite the dropping of the claim, her lawyers are seeking their costs from the State, alleging the situation was only rectified after she took the lawsuit.

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Charlotte Mulhall. Photo: PA

Charlotte Mulhall. Photo: PA

Charlotte Mulhall. Photo: PA

Convicted murderer Charlotte Mulhall, one of the so-called “Scissor Sisters”, has dropped a claim for damages over the halting of visits with her son after she was transferred to a new prison due to alleged “liaisons” behind bars.

The move came during a High Court hearing today of her case against the Prison Service and the State, where it emerged visits resumed last October.

Since then mother-of-one Mulhall has been brought from Limerick Prison to a location in Dublin to see her son on three occasions and a further visit is planned next month.

Despite the dropping of the claim, her lawyers are seeking their costs from the State, alleging the situation was only rectified after she took the lawsuit.

The Prison Service has resisted this, claiming a lack of organised visits was due to the actions of a third party and the pandemic, both of which were outside its control.

Mulhall, who received a life sentence in 2006 for the gruesome murder of Farah Swaleh Noor, was imprisoned at the Dochas Centre in Dublin but was transferred to Limerick in December 2018.

The court heard Prison Service correspondence gave various reasons for the transfer.

These included that she had been found in a compromising position with a prison officer, had been involved in a number of liaisons, and that the transfer was for “her own safety and well-being”. Mulhall denied having liaisons behind bars.

As well as seeking damages, the 39-year-old had originally also sought a judicial review of the decision to transfer her, but the court ruled that application to be out of time.

When the hearing got underway, her counsel Conor Power SC said he believed his client was entitled to damages for the interference in her family rights.

While there had been two visits to Limerick Prison by her son, an end was put to these by a third party, the court heard.

Mr Power, who appeared with Cian Kelly BL instructed by Tracy Horan and Co, said that while any damages would be nominal, the court could award them to “mark a breach of rights”.

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However, following discussions over lunch with Anne-Marie Lawlor SC and Michael Hourigan BL, for the Prison Service, Mr Power told the court the damages claim was no longer being pursued.

He said that as his client’s primary objective, the restoring of visits with her son, had been achieved, he did not believe continuing with the claim would be a fruitful use of the court’s time.

Arguing for costs to be awarded to his client, Mr Power said the proceedings were necessary because there had never been any communication that Mulhall would be brought to Dublin to facilitate visits.

Ms Lawlor rejected Mr Power’s claim that the lawsuit had prompted a “regime change” and said that at no point did the Prison Service deny Mulhall visits with her son.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr said he would decide on the issue of costs tomorrow.

In an affidavit, Mulhall claimed the deprivation of visits “caused untold stress and upset to me, my son and my family."

Mulhall is serving a life sentence for the gruesome murder of her mother Kathleen’s boyfriend Mr Noor in Dublin in 2005.

Her sister Linda (47) was sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter.

Their victim’s body was dismembered and parts of it were later found dumped in the Royal Canal. His head has never been found.

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