Dunne -v- The Governor of Cloverhill Prison, [2009] IESC 43 (2009)

Docket Number:50/08
Party Name:Dunne, The Governor of Cloverhill Prison
Judge:Denham J.


[Appeal No: 50/2008]

Denham J.

Hardiman J.

Geoghegan J.

Fennelly J.

Kearns J.


Eamonn Dunne



The Governor of Cloverhill Prison


Judgment delivered the 21st day of May, 2009 by Denham J.

  1. The circumstances of this appeal raise the issue as to whether or not the matter is moot.

  2. On the 2nd November, 2007, Eamonn Dunne, "the applicant", was charged with conspiracy to commit a theft contrary to common law. I will refer to this as "the original charge".

  3. On the 3rd January, 2008, the applicant was before Cloverhill District Court, an adjourned date, on the original charge, charged with a co-accused of conspiring to commit the crime of theft

    of cash of an amount of in excess of 900,000. A further extension of time was sought by the prosecution for the service of the Book of Evidence. After hearing submissions the District Judge

    remanded the applicant in custody for two weeks.

  4. On the 7th January, 2008, the applicant sought an inquiry pursuant to Article 40.4.2° of the Constitution.

  5. On the 11th January, 2008, the High Court (Edwards J.) ordered the release of the applicant.

  6. On the 25th January, 2008 Edwards J. gave his reasons for determining that the applicant was in unlawful detention. These related to s.4B of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1967, as inserted

    by s.9 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1999, as to the extending of time by the District Court for the service of the Book of Evidence.

  7. The Governor of Cloverhill Prison appealed that decision.

  8. On the 18th February, 2009, in Dunne v. The Governor of Cloverhill Prison [2009] IESC 11 Kearns J., with whom the other members of the Court concurred, delivered a judgment

    allowing the appeal. In giving his judgment, Kearns J. stated that:-

    "… I do not believe that there is a requirement under s.4B(3) of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1967 that, to confer jurisdiction, a District Judge must have evidence before extending the period of time for service of a Book of Evidence."

    It was concluded that no case had been made out for the proposition that the detention of the applicant was unlawful, hence the appeal was allowed.

  9. In the meantime the applicant had been back before the District Court on the 17th February, 2008, the original return date, and was sent forward for trial on indictment on the original

    charge. That is the current situation, the applicant is on bail, pending trial on indictment on the original charge.

  10. This...

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