Carroll v Judge of the District Court

CourtHigh Court
JudgeMr. Justice Meenan
Judgment Date03 December 2020
Neutral Citation[2020] IEHC 715
Docket Number[2019 No. 670 JR]



[2020] IEHC 715


[2019 No. 670 JR]



JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Meenan delivered on the 3rd day of December, 2020

The background to these judicial review proceedings is a long running serious dispute between the applicant and his neighbours. This dispute has erupted into violence on several occasions over the past number of years. These incidents, together with certain road traffic matters, have been investigated by An Garda Síochána as follows: -

(i) Alleged assault on the applicant on or about 23/24 November 2018. The file in respect of this investigation was furnished to the office of the third named respondent on 4 December 2019. A no prosecution direction issued on 21 January 2020;

(ii) A fire took place at the applicant's home on 25 August 2019. This matter was investigated and a file was furnished to the third named respondent. A no prosecution direction was issued on 9 July 2020;

(iii) The applicant was prosecuted in the District Court for dangerous driving contrary to s. 53 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 following a complaint made by one of his neighbours. He was also prosecuted for failing to have a valid certificate of road worthiness. On 26 September 2019, the applicant was convicted of both offences; and

(iv) The applicant is being prosecuted in the District Court for threatening behaviour contrary to s. 6 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994. This incident also concerned his neighbours. A bench warrant for the arrest of the applicant was issued on 25 July 2019 and he failed to appear for the hearing of the prosecution. The warrant was executed at Galway District Court on 13 November 2019 and the applicant was remanded on bail. This prosecution was due to be heard on 28 May 2020.


Arising from the incident of 24 November 2018, members of An Garda Síochána attended the applicant's property. Forensic evidence was gathered. However, a rock which the applicant wishes to be examined for forensic evidence was not part of this. This rock was posted by the applicant some six weeks after the alleged incident. While it was photographed at the scene of the alleged assault, the applicant, according to the affidavit of Inspector Peter Conlon of An Garda Síochána, never told the investigating officers that it was used as a weapon and no reference was made to it in the course of his statement.


The applicant appeared in person before this Court seeking certain reliefs by way of judicial review.

Earlier Judicial Review Proceedings

On 22 October 2018, the High Court (Noonan J.) refused to grant leave to the applicant to apply by way of judicial review for certain reliefs sought by him in an ex parte application. This refusal was appealed in the Court of Appeal and, on 21 October 2019, Edwards J. upheld the Order of the High Court. I refer to Carroll v. A Judge and The Director of Public Prosecutions [2019] IECA 258.


In those judicial review proceedings, the applicant sought leave to apply for an order of certiorari quashing the decision of the therein second named respondent not to prosecute certain parties on foot of complaints made by the applicant concerning incidents of alleged harassment, assaults, trespass to his property and threats to kill him. The parties in question were the applicant's neighbours, already referred to. The applicant also sought reliefs relating to criminal proceedings before Clifden District Court, presided over by the first named respondent. The applicant complained that the first named respondent was, on two occasions, 22 February 2018 and 26 April 2018, requested to recuse herself on the grounds of alleged bias but that she refused to do so. I will be referring to the judgment of Edward J. later in this judgment.


It is clear from reading the judgment of the Court of Appeal, and the papers filed by the applicant in the instant case, that there is an overlap between these proceedings and the earlier judicial review proceedings. It appears that the High Court, when granting leave in this matter, was not informed by the applicant of the earlier proceedings. Notwithstanding the fact that the applicant appeared in person, failing to inform the Court granting leave of earlier relevant proceedings is unacceptable.

Reliefs sought by the Applicant

In considering the reliefs sought by the applicant, I had the benefit of both written and oral submissions from Mr. Conor O'Higgins BL, on behalf of the first, second and fourth named respondents, and Mr. Conor McKenna BL, on behalf of the third named respondent (the DPP). I will consider each of the reliefs sought as set out in the Order of the High Court granting leave of 25 September 2019.


“An order of mandamus instructing the Commissioner to immediately fast-track

forensic results of 24.11.18. Forensics taken by Crime Scene Investigation 24.11.18 at applicant's house following assault with weapons by —. To be produced within 14 days from order. To include ‘rock’ used as a weapon produced from scene, photographed by CSI on 24.11.18 whilst applicant was in hospital. This has my blood on underside and undoubtedly – DNA on upper where he held it, confirming his presence at scene, see photos exhibited.”

The history concerning “ the rock” was set out in the affidavit of Inspector Peter Conlon. Inspector Conlon stated that the applicant never told the investigating members that it was used as a weapon and the applicant made no reference to it in the course of his statement to the Gardaí. In any event, this Court has a very limited jurisdiction concerning the investigation of alleged crimes. I refer to the decision of Clarke J. (as he then was) in Fowley v. Conroy [2005] 3 I.R. 480 when he stated: -

“…However, I am satisfied that a victim may have an entitlement to ensure that an inquiry into the crime concerned is not dealt with in a capricious manner. For example, a refusal to investigate the crime for no good reason may be reviewable even though it must be clear that the courts would afford a very wide margin of appreciation to the gardaí as to any legitimate basis for not embarking upon an investigation of a crime. It would, therefore, only be in the most exceptional cases indeed that a jurisdiction to intervene could arise. …”

In this case, there was an investigation by the Gardaí and the matter was referred to the DPP. I am, therefore, satisfied that this case falls well short of being so exceptional that it would warrant an intervention from this Court.


“An order of mandamus instructing DPP to report to the High Court urgently after

review of forensic results, awaited for some 9 months to explain what action is proposed and particularly why if no action is to be taken. High...

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1 cases
  • Carroll v Judge Mary Fahy
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 11 July 2022
    ...Mr. Justice Meenan refused relief in those separate judicial review proceedings in a judgment handed down bearing record number [2020] IEHC 715. In his judgment, Mr. Justice Meenan summarised the background to that judicial review as “1. The background to these judicial review proceedings i......

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