Jury trials to resume in July after being suspended due to Covid-19
Judge Paul McDermott says custody trials will be the priority when cases recommence
A view of the jury box of the Central Criminal Court. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins
Trials in front of a jury are set to resume next month following their suspension due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the Central Criminal Court heard on Wednesday.
All new jury trials were effectively suspended after the coronavirus restrictions were introduced in March.
Taking charge of the list of cases before the Central Criminal Court on Wednesday, Judge Paul McDermott said it was envisaged that trials would recommence on July 20th with procedures in place that adhere to health and safety guidelines amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Justice McDermott said that two trials would begin initially, with the first proceeding on July 20th.
The first two trials will be used as templates for two more proposed trials later in the year, Mr Justice McDermott said.
He said that judges in the Central Criminal Court would continue to be available throughout vacation time – usually scheduled for August and September – subject to guidelines being effective.
Mr Justice McDermott told the court that custody trials would be given priority, adding that unfortunately they had had to be adjourned as a result of the Covid-19 emergency.
The court heard that a lot of work had been done to put safety procedures in place to ensure trials could resume.
Larger spaces will be made available for jurors assembling, to ensure they can adhere to social distancing guidelines, the court heard.