Supreme Court dismisses Dundon appeal

Trial for the murder of rugby player Shane Geoghegan to go ahead before non-jury Special Criminal Court

Left-right: The late Shane Geoghan’s mother Mary Geoghegan (right) and his aunt Margaret Walsh, arriving at the Four Courts today for a Supreme Court action involving John Dundon. Photograph: Collins

Left-right: The late Shane Geoghan’s mother Mary Geoghegan (right) and his aunt Margaret Walsh, arriving at the Four Courts today for a Supreme Court action involving John Dundon. Photograph: Collins

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Limerick man John Dundon aimed at securing a deferral of his trial for the murder of rugby player Shane Geoghegan.   The trial is now due to open on Tuesday before the non-jury Special Criminal Court.

Mr Dundon (29), Hyde Road, Limerick, was due to stand trial for the murder of Mr Geoghegan at Dooradoyle in November 2008, at the Special Criminal Court earlier this month.

After losing a High Court challenge to the SCC’s refusal to adjourn the trial, he appealed to the Supreme Court.

His lawyers sought that adjournment arguing they had insufficient time to examine a large volume of material given to them by gardaí in late April and early May and that created a risk Mr Dundon would not get a fair trial.

The DPP opposed the adjournment on grounds including security concerns over a key prosecution witness and insisted much of the material was not relevant.

Today, the five judge Supreme Court said, given the DPP’s undertaking to identify to Mr Dundon’s lawyers what documents are considered relevant by tomorrow evening, it would dismiss Mr Dundon’s appeal and the trial could proceed.

Mr Dundon’s lawyers had claimed the material comprised some 27,000 unpaginated documents, telephone records and 419 DVDs containing many hours of CCTV pictures.

Earlier, Tom O’Connell SC, for the DPP, said the case outlined in the book of evidence against Mr Dundon was “a narrow one.”

The only relevant material in relation to telephone records and CCTV pictures was one phone call and four separate recordings of CCTV images, he said. He accepted none of the 27,000 documents discovered were relevant to the trial.

In reply to the Chief Justice,  counsel said the DPP was prepared to inform lawyers for the defence exactly what documents were relevant by close of business on Thursday.

Martin O’Rourke SC, for Mr Dundon, said he was not convinced about assurances given to the court about the relevance of the documents. Some documentation provided was relevant and the defence were not previously told the defence how much of the material provided to them was relevant, he said.

Counsel had earlier argued there was inexplicable and possibly deliberate delay by the prosecution in disclosing evidence and rejected arguments a deferral of trial could prejudice witness security.