Gardaí accused of trying to pervert course of justice to be tried in Limerick

Judge refuses application brought by DPP to have trial heard in Dublin

All five accused, the court heard, are alleged to have been involved in attempting to square away road traffic offences for a number of individuals on various dates between January 2018 and September 2019

All five accused, the court heard, are alleged to have been involved in attempting to square away road traffic offences for a number of individuals on various dates between January 2018 and September 2019

 

Four serving gardaí and a retired Garda superintendent, who are accused of more than 40 counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice, will be tried in Limerick, after a judge refused an application brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to have the trial heard in Dublin.

The five accused, who have all served within the Limerick Garda Division, including retired Garda superintendent Eamon O’Neill, Sgt Anne-Marie Hassett, Sgt Michelle Leahy, Garda Tom McGlinchey and Garda Colm Geary, were returned for trial to Limerick Circuit Court last year.

All five accused, the court heard, are alleged to have been involved in attempting to square away road traffic offences for a number of individuals on various dates between January 2018 and September 2019.

Reading from an affidavit submitted to the court, senior counsel for the DPP, Michael Delaney, said: “Many of the persons who stood to benefit from the said actions are high-profile individuals connected with Limerick GAA, including several current members of the senior county hurling panel.”

During a three-hour hearing at Limerick Circuit Court on Thursday, Mr Delaney argued it would have been “manifestly unjust” if the trial was not moved to Dublin because the DPP had “serious concerns” there might have been a “risk” against finding an “impartial jury” in Limerick.

James Dwyer SC resisted the DPP’s application on behalf of all five accused and concluded there was “no evidence” to support moving the trial to Dublin.

Delivering his judgment, Judge Tom O’Donnell said that as “a lawyer and a judge with 40 years’ experience” he was “satisfied” that a Limerick jury could be trusted to hear the case impartially.