DPP v Quilligan and O'Reilly

 
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1985 WJSC-CCC 2055

THE CENTRAL CRIMINAL COURT

DPP v. QUILLIGAN
THE PEOPLE
-v-
CHRISTOPHER QUILLIGAN AND PATRICK O'REILLY

Citations:

BOWES, STATE V FITZPATRICK UNREP FINLAY 1.11.78

DPP, PEOPLE V TOWSON UNREP 05.07.78

EMERGENCY POWERS BILL 1976, IN RE 1977 IR 159

LARCENY ACT 1916

LARCENY ACT 1972

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE (AMDT) ACT 1940

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 PART V

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 PART VI

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S18

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S30

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S35

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S35(2)

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S36

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S36(1)

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S52

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S52

PEOPLE V MADDEN 1977 IR 336, 111 ILTR 117

Synopsis:

CRIMINAL LAW

Arrest

Validity - Suspicion of garda - Commission of scheduled offence - Malicious damage to property suspected - Detention of suspect - Suspicion justified - Absence of further suspicion that scheduled offence committed in context of subversive activities - Arrest, detention and interrogation of suspect rendered unlawful by absence of further suspicion - Cf. ~The People v. Walsh~ (C.C.A. - 20/12/85) infra - Offences Against the State Act, 1939, s. 30 - Preliminary issue raise during criminal trial (C.C.C. - Barr J. - 6/12/85).

|The People v. Quilligan|

CRIMINAL LAW

Suspect

Interrogation - Scope - Arrest on suspicion - Commission of scheduled offence suspected - Malicious damage to property - Suspicion justified - Detention of suspect - Interrogation of suspect about murder - Incriminatory statement - Subsequent trial of suspect of indictment for murder - Accused challenging validity of arrest and interrogation - Malicious damage being part of actus reus of murder - Arrest and extension of interrogation to subject of murder not unlawful - Offences Against the State Act, 1939, s. 30 - Preliminary issue raised during criminal trial - (C.C.C. - Barr J. - 6/12/85).

|The People v. Quilligan|

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Ruling of Mr. Justice Barr delivered the 6th day of December 1985

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A preliminary issue has been raised on behalf of the accuseds, Christopher Quilligan and Patrick O'Reilly, in course of their trial for the murder of James Willis on the night of 19th/20th November, 1984 at his dwellinghouse in a remote rural situation at Ballycurreen, Glaunthane, Co. Cork. Both accuseds reside at separate addresses in the city of Cork. On the morning of 12th December, 1984 Detective Sergeant James Cloonan with other Garda Officers called to the home of the accused, Quilligan, and arrested him under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939(the 1939 Act) on suspicion of having committed a scheduled offence viz malicious damage at the home of James and John Willis at Ballycurreen on 19th/20th November, 1984. On the same date and at or about the same time (9 a.m.) D. Sergeant Patrick Brennan with other Gardaí called to the home of the accused, O'Reilly, and arrested him under the same statutory provision and for the same stated reason. The arresting officers brought the respective accuseds to the Bridewell Garda Station in Cork where each was detained and interrogated by Garda Officers about the death of James Willis, the assault and battery of the deceased's brother, John, and other related matters which had occurred on the night of James's death. It is alleged that while in detention each of the accuseds made written statements admitting participation in events which had taken place in the Willis home on the night in question. The successful prosecution of the accuseds for the murder of James Willis depends upon proof of and the admission of these statements into evidence.

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Counsel on behalf of each of the accuseds has argued that the purported arrests made under section 30 of the 1939 Act are unlawful; that in the premises the accuseds were in unlawful custody when the alleged incriminating statements were made and, therefore, having regard to the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal in the People -v- Madden 1977 I.R. 336, such statements, even if made voluntarily, are not admissible in evidence. This question raises an issue of law for my determination. All relevant evidence has been led. The following facts have been established in evidence and are not in controversy:-

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(a) On the night of 19/20th November, 1984 the home of James and John Willis, elderly semi-retired farmers, at Ballycurreen, Glaunthane, was broken into by three men for the purpose of robbery.

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(b) The raiders gained entry to the house by bursting the receiver of the Yale type lock on the front door and by damaging a bolt on the back door.

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(c) The Willis brothers, particularly James, endeavoured to defend themselves. Both were severely assaulted. James received 82 superficial injuries to various parts of his body and 9 of his ribs were fractured. He was 78 years of age at the time. After the raiders had left, having stolen the Willis's car from their yard, John discovered his brother James in a collapsed condition in the hall of the house and apparently dead. Death was confirmed about an hour afterwards by a doctor who had been called to the scene. Later, a post-mortem examination was carried out and it was confirmed by the State Pathologist, Professor Harbison, that the death of James Willis resulted from heart failure caused by multiple rib fractures; the accumulative effect of many superficial injuries and shock. The pre-existing state of the deceased's lungs and heart were contributory factors. Prior to the assault the victim had been in reasonably good health having regard to his advanced age.

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(d) In addition to the minor damage done in gaining entry to the house, the raiders also damaged a few items of furniture in course of the struggle with the Willis brothers and the ransacking of the house in search of cash and other valuables. They also damaged a shotgun which belonged to one of the brothers.

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(e) A full scale murder investigation was put in train by Superintendent McGrath within two or three hours from the death of Mr. Willis. Detective Sergeants Cloonan and Brennan were senior members of the investigating team. Conferences presided over by Superintendent McGrath and attended by the investigating officers were held from time to time during the investigation at which all relevant information, including that as to suspects, was pooled.

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(f) From the beginning of the investigation the police suspected both accuseds and others of possible complicity in the crimes committed at the Willis home because it was believed that they were the sort of men who were likely to engage in that type of crime. They were each interviewed on 20th November, the day following the murder, but each then denied participation in or knowledge of such crimes.

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(g) It was conceded by...

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