Dundon -v- The Members of the Special Criminal Court, [2013] IEHC 241 (2013)

Docket Number:2013 380 JR
Party Name:Dundon, The Members of the Special Criminal Court
Judge:Hedigan J.

THE HIGH COURT[2013 No. 380 J.R.]




Judgment of Mr. Justice Hedigan delivered on 31


day of May, 2013.

  1. This is an application for leave to seek an order of certiorari by way of judicial review quashing the decision of the Special Criminal Court made on the 15th May, 2013, in which it refused to adjourn the applicant’s trial for the murder of Shane Geoghegan on the 9th November, 2008. The application is grounded upon the basis that:

    (a) the respondents erred in fact in concluding there was an increasing risk to the life of April Collins the longer the delay in holding the trial, there was an insufficiency of evidence to allow the Special Criminal Court to come to such inclusion;

    (b) the Special Criminal Court erred in law in seeking to weigh the right of Ms. April Collins with the applicant’s right to a fair trial;

    (c) the applicant cannot get a fair trial because of the enormous volume of disclosure delivered to them in the form of 25,000 pages of documents and 1,266 discs of CCTV footage together with two hard drives and a memory stick.

    The solicitors and counsel for the applicant say they cannot possibly examine all these properly within the time permitted by their delivery firstly of 2,647 pages of disclosure on the 23rd April, 2013 and then the balance on the 2nd May, 2013, one month before the trial. T

  2. The applicant applied to the Special Criminal Court on the 10th May, 2013 for an adjournment. The Court heard from Detective Garda Treacy. He gave evidence of the threat to Ms. Collins’ life, in respect of which the applicant had been convicted and sentenced on the 18th April, 2012. He testified to the Special Criminal Court that the risk extended to other members of the Collins family. The risk was continuing. This evidence was not questioned. The Special Criminal Court heard submissions from counsel for the applicant concerning the factors to be considered by a court when deciding on prejudice by late disclosure. An adjournment for a period of approximately six months was sought. The Court rose to consider the application. It concluded on the basis of the evidence of Detective Garda Treacy that there was a threat to the life of Ms. Collins and family. The Court considered the case should not be postponed if at all possible. They also considered the age of the case, five years since the murder. They, however, considered that the Court needed to...

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