Judge adjourns Garda McCabe murder trial


The trial of four men facing charges connected with the murder of Det Garda Jerry McCabe in Co Limerick has been adjourned by the Special Criminal Court until next week.

Three men, including the Brixton jail escaper Pearse McCauley, have been charged with the capital murder of Det Garda McCabe, which carries a mandatory 40-year sentence without remission. The trial was adjourned after the court heard McCauley had been served with the book of evidence only last month.

McCauley (33), from Strabane, Co Tyrone, with no fixed address, and two Co Limerick men - Mr Jeremiah Sheehy (36), of Abbey Park, Rathkeale, and Mr Michael O'Neill (46), of Lisheen Park, Patrickswell - have been charged with Det Garda McCabe's murder on June 7th, 1996.

A fourth man, Mr John Quinn (29), of Faha, Patrickswell, Co Limerick, is charged with unlawful possession of ammunition at Patrickswell on June 6th, 1996, and with IRA membership.

McCauley's solicitor, Mr Garrett Sheehan, applied for an adjournment and said his client had been served with a 1,200page book of evidence in Portlaoise prison on January 30th.

Mr Edward Comyn SC, prosecuting, said the Director of Public Prosecutions wanted the trial of all four men to go ahead at the same time and if McCauley's case was adjourned, he would agree to an adjournment of the other trials.

Mr Comyn said there were also preliminary issues concerning the disclosure of documents. He said all the documents, except some which the State wish to prevent disclosure of, would be served on the defence by today.

Mr Patrick Gageby SC, for Mr Sheehy, said he had no objection to the adjournment and added that the trial would last for 12 weeks if it went ahead with all four accused.

Mr Justice Johnson said the court would adjourn all four cases until next Tuesday. He said there were other preliminary issues concerning disclosure of documents which may or may not depend on a judgment by the Supreme Court in another case. The judge said the court would decide then when these issues could be dealt with.