Solicitor of charged men criticises delay in Lunney kidnap case

Court told men entitled to presumption of innocence and State cannot keep remanding in custody

Kevin Lunney was abducted from outside his Co Fermanagh home and assaulted before being dumped on a road in Co Cavan last September. Photograph: BBC Spotlight

Kevin Lunney was abducted from outside his Co Fermanagh home and assaulted before being dumped on a road in Co Cavan last September. Photograph: BBC Spotlight

 

A defence solicitor for two of the four men charged with the abduction and false imprisonment of Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney has criticised the length of time it is taking for a file to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Solicitor Alan Gannon said that his clients, who were in custody since November, were entitled to a presumption of innocence and the State cannot just keeping remanding the defendants in custody on a rolling basis while waiting for a file to be prepared for the DPP.

Mr Gannon urged Judge Deirdre Gearty at Harristown District Court in Roscommon on Friday morning to refuse jurisdiction in the case. He said that it was clear from the serious allegations that the matter would not be heard at District Court level and that refusing jurisdiction would “put pressure” on the DPP to proceed with the case.

His clients, Darren Redmond (25) from Caledon Road, East Wall, Dublin and Alan O’Brien (38) of Shelmalier Road, East Wall, refused consent to be remanded in custody for a month.

A third defendant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, also refused consent with his barrister Pat O’Sullivan stating that his client wanted the matter to move on.

A fourth defendant, Luke O’Reilly (66) from Mullahoran Lower, Kilcogy, Co Cavan, last week consented to a remand in custody to February 14th.

Kieran Madigan, State solicitor for Roscommon, told Judge Gearty the investigation was “complex” and that significant progress had been made by gardai investigating the abduction and false imprisonment of Mr Lunney in Cavan in September.

Mr Madigan said gardaí were confident that a file would be sent to the DPP by next Friday, January 31st.

Mr Madigan said that the investigation amounted to over 1,000 lines of enquiry, over 440 statements and hours of CCTV footage from a number of counties. A previous court sitting heard that the investigation was being carried out in two jurisdictions.

Judge Gearty initially remanded the three defendants in custody for a week but after being informed that there is no sitting of Harristown District Court, which is located beside Castlerea Prison, next week, she remanded the three men in custody until February 7th.