Five men in court charged over murder attempt on Patsy Hutch

Accused also charged with helping criminal organisation commit serious offence

Four men were due before the Special Criminal Court in connection with an attempt to murder Patsy Hutch. Photograph: The Irish Times

Four men were due before the Special Criminal Court in connection with an attempt to murder Patsy Hutch. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Five men have appeared before the Special Criminal Court charged with conspiring to murder a member of the Hutch family last year.

Each of the accused men are also charged with taking various roles with the intention of helping a criminal organisation commit a serious offence, namely the murder of Patrick “Patsy” Hutch

Two of the five accused have been further charged with directing the activities of a criminal organisation within the State.

Ciaran O’Driscoll (24), of Avondale House, Cumberland Street, Dublin 1, Patrick Curtis (38) and his brother Stephen Curtis (32), both of Bellmans Walk, Seville Place, Dublin 1, Mohammed Smew (27), of Milners Square, Shanowen Road, Santry, Dublin 9 and Michael Burns (43), of no fixed abode are all charged with conspiring with one or more persons to commit a serious offence, to wit, the murder of Patrick Hutch within the State between February 1st 2018 and March 10th 2018.

This offence is contrary to Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

Each of the five men are also charged with participating in activities intending to facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, namely the murder of Mr Hutch within the State between February 1st 2018 and February 28th 2018.

Furthermore, Patrick Curtis and Mr Burns are also facing charges of directing the activities of a criminal organisation between February 1st, 2018 and March 10th, 2018.

In addition, the five accused men are charged with participating in activities intending to facilitate the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation or any of its members, to wit, the murder of a person unknown within the State between February 1, 2018 and March 10, 2018, both dates inclusive.

Furthermore, the five accused are also charged with conspiring with one or more persons to commit a serious offence, to wit, the murder of a person unknown within the State on the same occasion.

Mr Burns is further accused of possession of a firearm silencer/suppressor and five rounds of 9mm parabellum calibre ammunition in such circumstances as to give rise to a reasonable inference that he had not got them in his possession for a lawful purpose on March 10, 2018 at Meile An Ri Road, Balgaddy, Clondalkin, Dublin 22.

State solicitor Ciara Vibien, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), said the DPP was applying for an order to have the five men tried before the Special Criminal Court in respect of all offences.

In certain cases, the DPP can certify that in his or her opinion the ordinary courts are inadequate to secure the effective administration of justice.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey, presiding, sitting with Judge Sarah Berkeley and Judge James Faughnan, made the order, directing that the five men be tried before the non-jury court.

Evidence was given by several gardai to the three-judge court concerning the arrest, charge and caution of each accused man.

Counsel on behalf of Mr O’Driscoll, Patrick Curtis and Stephen Curtis asked the court to consider making a recommendation for their clients to be detained in Mountjoy Prison rather than Portlaoise Prison. However, Mr Justice Coffey said this was a matter for the governor of the prison as the court did not have jurisdiction concerning the welfare of prisoners.

Defence counsel Michael Bowman SC, for Mr Burns, said he intended to apply for bail for his client before Christmas.

The five accused men were remanded in custody until February 3rd, when it is expected they will be served with books of evidence.