Hamill v Judge McDonagh & Anor, [2006] IEHC 366 (2006)

Docket Number:2006 1583SS
Judge:Peart J.


Record Number: 2006 No. 1583 SS


Daniel Hamill



Judge Donagh McDonagh


The Governor of Cloverhill Prison Respondents

Judgment of Mr Justice Michael Peart delivered on the 22ndday of November 2006:

The applicant seeks an order for his release under Article 40.4.2 of the constitution on the ground that his detention has been unlawful since the 20th October 2006 arising from the fact that he was not himself present in Court Number 8 in the Four Courts on that date when he was further remanded to appear before the Circuit Court on tomorrow the 24th November 2006. His solicitor and Counsel were, however, present when his case was called and the matter was remanded.

The fact of the matter is that the applicant, having been arrested and charged with the offences in question was remanded in custody from time to time in the District Court, and that bail had been refused, in the District Court, the High Court, and later on appeal by the Supreme Court.

His solicitor's grounding affidavit states that on the 18th August 2006 the applicant appeared in Cloverhill District Court when he was served with the Book of Evidence, and that he was remanded to appear in the Circuit Court on the 20th October 2006. She further avers that he received a letter from the Courts Service dated 28th August 2006 which stated, inter alia, that he and his legal representatives must attend at Court 8, Four Courts, Dublin 7. As he was in custody in Cloverhill Prison during this time, he was brought to the Four Courts building on that morning along with a large number of other persons whose cases were before that Court. It is important to note that the applicant's case was listed for purely procedural reasons. No trial was to take place.

In any event, the applicant was brought upon arrival at the Four Courts to a part of the building referred to as the Cloverhill Prison holding area or some such description. It is, the Court is told, an area below the ground floor on which Court 8 exists, and is in the nature of a secure holding area where prisoners are kept on arrival.

It appears that on that morning there were a total of 78 cases in the first respondent's court list, made up of 49 new cases for mention, 20 older cases all for mention, as well as 3 arraignments and 6 cases for sentence. The first named respondent announced to the prison officers present at the commencement of his list that that persons who were in custody on a new mention basis were not to be brought up to the Courtroom from the holding area in ease of the list.

When the applicant's case was called he was represented by solicitior and Counsel and the case was...

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