Nash to take legal proceedings to prevent his trial for murders

 

A MAN has secured leave from the High Court to bring proceedings aimed at preventing his trial for the murder of two women at Grangegorman in Dublin 13 years ago.

Mark Nash (36), a British national originally from Huddersfield, Yorkshire, was charged last October with the murder of Mary Callanan and Sylvia Shields at their sheltered accommodation in Grangegorman, close to St Brendan’s psychiatric hospital, between March 6th and 7th, 1997.

Yesterday lawyers for Mr Nash secured leave to bring judicial proceedings aimed at securing an order prohibiting the trial on grounds including the delay in charging him, the publicity surrounding the case and the unavailability of a witness.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton granted Mr Nash leave to bring the proceedings against the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and recommended it be heard as early as possible.

Hugh Hartnett SC, for Mr Nash, said this was an “extraordinary case” involving an extraordinary and unexplained delay in bringing charges against his client.

He said the case had received extensive publicity where his client was the second person to be charged in relation to the Grangegorman killings. Another man, Dean Lyons, who died in September 2000, was charged with the murders in 1997.

After an investigation, a public apology was made in 2005 to Mr Lyons’s family stating that he had no involvement in the Grangegorman murders. Counsel said the apology was associated with a highly prejudicial media fanfare identifying Mr Nash as the real suspect and prejudicing his ability to get a fair trial.

The DPP had directed the prosecution of Mr Nash in 1998 for the Grangegorman murders, but a report into the charging of Mr Lyons carried out by Mr Justice George Birmingham, then a senior counsel, had later indicated that within the office of the DPP there was a clear recognition that mounting a prosecution against Mr Nash would involve considerable difficulties.

Those difficulties related to Mr Lyons’s purported confession to the murders, and legal advice was sought as to how those difficulties could be overcome, counsel said. In October 1999, the direction to prosecute Mr Nash was revoked by the DPP.