Man in custody after filming his uncle in witness box

Two men involved in court incident had been previously convicted of 2010 manslaughter

A judge has placed a convicted killer in Garda custody after he was spotted by a detective videoing his uncle giving evidence in a court witness box.

At Ennis District Court on Tuesday, Judge Patrick Durcan ordered that Kevin Dinan (28) be placed in custody after Insp Tom Kennedy informed the judge that Mr Dinan was seen videoing his uncle, Harry Dinan (35) giving sworn evidence in the witness box.

The two Dinans were jailed in November 2010 for the unprovoked attack that killed school teacher Brian Casey (26) on St Stephen's Night 2009 in O'Connell Square, Ennis.

Harry Dinan of Waterpark Heights was sentenced to seven years in jail and and Kevin Dinan of Clarehill, Clarecastle, was jailed for six years.


Harry Dinan was in court today seeking to retrieve €1,138 that was seized by gardaí in 2009 during a drugs search of his home that resulted in him being sentenced for seven months for the sale and supply of drugs in May 2010.

In sworn evidence, Det Garda Frank Browne told Judge Durcan that while Harry Dinan was giving evidence, he saw Kevin Dinan "discreetly" video his uncle in the court.

Judge Durcan said: “I view this as a very serious matter.”

In reply, Kevin Dinan said: “I didn’t know it would be such a problem.”

Judge Durcan ordered that Kevin Dinan be taken into custody and told him that he should retain a solicitor.

Judge Durcan said that he would deal with the case later in the day.

Pleading guilty

Harry Dinan and Kevin Dinan were originally sentenced to five and four years respectively after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Casey.

However, this was increased by two years in each case by the Court of Criminal Appeal after the DPP successfully appealed the undue leniency of the original sentences.

At the Court of Criminal Appeal, Mr Justice McKechnie described the offences as “utterly unprovoked, cowardly brutal and grossly violent” attacks “senseless in their origin and execution” that had caused the death of a “young man with his entire life ahead of him”.

Harry Dinan, who has 64 previous convictions, was on temporary release from prison at the time of the unlawful killing, while Kevin Dinan, who has 17 previous convictions, was on bail and awaiting sentence having pleaded guilty to a burglary charge.

Mr Casey was looking on at a scuffle with his hands in his pockets when he was caught off guard by a single severe “haymaker” punch inflicted by Harry Dinan at about midnight on St Stephen’s night on O’Connell Square.

The blow from Harry Dinan broke Mr Casey's jaw in two places and the Lissycasey man hit the ground with the back of his head.

He fractured his skull on impact with the ground and the court heard that Kevin Dinan then proceeded to punch Mr Casey repeatedly in the face and head while he lay on the ground. He never regained consciousness and died two days later.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times