Trial of man accused of demanding money collapses


The trial of a Dublin man accused of demanding €50,000 from another man on pain of death has collapsed after the Special Criminal Court dismissed the charge against him.

Derek Palmer (56), Corduff Green, Blanchardstown, had pleaded not guilty to making an unwarranted demand of Wayne Whitehouse with menaces - that he pay the sum of €50,000 or be killed - in Hampton Green,Balbriggan on July 14th, 2011.

Pádraig Dwyer SC, defending, applied for a dismissal on the basis that the evidence against his client was inherently weak and inconsistent.

However, Mr Palmer will again appear before the court today for trial in connection with the same investigation on a charge of membership of the IRA on July 14th, 2011.

During the eight-day trial, evidence was heard that on the evening in question, two men claiming to be members of the Continuity IRA called to the house in Hampton Green, alleged that Mr Whitehouse was a drug- dealer and said he was to pay €50,000 that night or they would shoot him and "take him out".

Mr Justice Paul Butler remanded Mr Palmer on continuing bail for trial today.