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court date DPP given more time in case where 10 accused face trial for sharing details of child killers online


Stock image: Court room

Stock image: Court room

Stock image: Court room

PROSECUTORS have been given more time to decide whether to agree to a trial venue for 10 people accused of illegally identifying a schoolgirl's young murderers on social media.

A judge today allowed the DPP another six weeks to consider whether to consent to the six men and four women being sent forward from Dublin District Court to the Circuit Court for trial by judge and jury.

The formal consent is required after an earlier ruling that the case was too serious to be dealt with at district court level.

Judge Marie Quirke adjourned all cases to a date in March.

The 10 accused are being prosecuted over the circulation of pictures and names of the two killers on social media, despite legislation and court-ordered bans on identifying the boys.

Judge John Hughes had refused jurisdiction to hear the cases in the district court in December but had said the consent of the DPP was required before any other progress could be made.

Today, state solicitor Edward Flynn told Judge Quirke he was seeking a further six weeks for consent for a return for trial.

He also sought an extension of the time required for the service of the book of evidence, "in the event that that is what will happen."

The court heard the DPP had to consider further material following correspondence from the defence.

Lawyers for the accused consented to the adjournment, but a defence solicitor Michael French said it was "disappointing" there had been no progress.

One of his clients, Hazel Fitzpatrick was "suffering with her mental health" and the case was having a "serious detrimental effect" on her, he said.

He asked the judge to consider making the adjournment peremptory against the state - meaning it could be struck out if progress was not made by the next date.

"We have received correspondence from solicitors that have raised certain issues that have to be addressed," Mr Flynn said, resisting Mr French's application.

The charges were serious and could not be taken lightly, he said, adding that it was hoped to progress the cases.

Judge Quirke refused to mark the adjournments peremptory against the state, but said the matter could be "revisited" in future.

The 10 people allegedly shared either pictures or names of one or both of the killers in the days after their conviction in 2019.

The boys are entitled to anonymity because of their age, and judges had also made orders prohibiting publication of anything that might identify them.

The young victim was named throughout the high profile murder trial.

However, she can no longer be named following a Court of Appeal ruling on the identification of deceased child victims.

It is alleged Gareth Cunningham (38) from Greenfort Crescent, Clondalkin posted a picture of one of the boys on Facebook with the caption "evil-looking f**ker.”

Declan Corcoran (29) of William’s Place Lower, Dublin allegedly posted the boys’ names on Twitter, writing: "for anyone who doesn't know their names, sick murdering perverts."

Edel Doherty (47) of Rory O’Connor House, Hardwicke Street, Dublin allegedly posted a photograph of the boys on Facebook.

Leeanda Farrelly (46) of Kilmartin Avenue, Tallaght is accused of posting a screenshot on Facebook of one of the boys and text reading: "these are the two scum that murdered the poor little girl...hope they get karma soon”, and "they will get new names like the scum who killed Jamie Bulger."

Jamie Shannon (25) of Empress Place, Dublin 1, allegedly posted an image of the boys on Twitter.

Mother-of-two Hazel Fitzpatrick (24) from Easton Green, Leixlip, Co Kildare, allegedly shared pictures of one of the boys on Facebook.

Text read: "Name and shame... two sickos, everyone should see who they are."

Mother-of-three Louise Heaney (48) of Killinarden Estate, Tallaght, allegedly shared a picture on Facebook of the boys with their faces circled.

Kyle Rooney (25) from Rathfield Park, Raheny allegedly posted an image of the boys on Twitter, with text reading: " They deserve everything they are going to get.”

It was alleged Robert Murphy (30) of Dolphin Road, Drimnagh posted the name of one of the boys on Twitter, commenting: "supposedly (the boy's) name, stuff slowly leaks out."

Jake Marshall (22) of Balcurris Gardens, Ballymun, allegedly posted a screenshot of the boys on Twitter, commenting: ““everybody deserves to see these two evil c**ts".

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Online Editors