Minister for Justice and Equality v Maguire

CourtCourt of Appeal (Ireland)
JudgeMr. Justice Edwards
Judgment Date04 December 2020
Neutral Citation[2020] IECA 341
Docket NumberRecord No: CA 2020/85
Date04 December 2020

[2020] IECA 341

Birmingham P.

Edwards J.

Ní Raifeartaigh J.

Record No: CA 2020/85


Judgment of the Court delivered on the 4th day of December, 2020 by Mr. Justice Edwards

This appeal is against the judgment and order of the High Court (Binchy J.) dated the 14 th of February 2020, pursuant to s.16 of the European Arrest Warrant Act 2003 (“the Act of 2003”) (as amended) directing that the appellant be surrendered to such person as was duly authorised to receive him on behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (“the UK”), following the appellant's arrest on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by a judicial authority in Northern Ireland, namely a District Judge of Belfast Magistrates’ Court sitting at Laganside Court, Belfast, for the purpose of securing his rendition to Northern Ireland so that he might be prosecuted for the crimes of attempted murder and unlawful and malicious possession and control of an explosive substance with intent to endanger life, contrary to s.3(1)(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883 (“the Act of 1883”).

The European Arrest Warrant

The UK seeks the rendition of the appellant, an Irish citizen, on foot of a European Arrest Warrant dated the 10 th of March 2017 in respect of offences of attempted murder and unlawful and malicious possession and control of an explosive substance with intent to endanger life allegedly committed by him on the 18 th of June 2015.


The issuing state has invoked paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the Council Framework Decision of 13 th June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States ( 2002/584/J.H.A.), O.J. L190/1 of 18.7.2002 (“the Framework Decision”) and has ticked the box in Part (e). I of the warrant relating to “murder, grievous bodily injury”. Accordingly, correspondence did not have to be demonstrated in the surrender proceedings in respect of the attempted murder charge. Moreover, while correspondence was required to be shown in respect of the offence of possession of an explosive substance with intent to endanger life, contrary to s. 3(1)(b) of the Act of 1883 (as substituted in the UK by the Criminal Jurisdiction Act 1975), it was accepted on behalf of the requested person that in circumstances where, in so far as specification of the ingredients of the offence is concerned, essentially the same statutory provision applies in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland, correspondence could readily be demonstrated with the relevant offence under Irish law, namely s.3(b) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883, as substituted by s.4 of the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act, 1976.


The circumstances of the alleged offence as described in Part (e) of the warrant are that:

“On 18th June 2015 at approximately 0245 hrs., [M.Y.], a serving police officer, awoke at [her home address] County Londonderry and looked out her bedroom window. She saw a male in the driveway, on the ground, at the driver's door of her husband [R.Y.] 's Ford Mondeo car. He appeared to be working at something underneath the car. [R.Y.] is also serving police officer. She knocked at the window causing the male to flee and she then called 999. CCTV footage showed the figure at the driver's side of the car and also a dark coloured car on the roadway, very slowly passing their driveway and moving in the direction of the exit to the [named] Estate. At the scene police confirmed the presence of a suspicious device underneath the Ford Mondeo car. It was on the ground, unattached to the vehicle. An Ammunition Technical Officer confirmed that it was an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and rendered it safe. Police traveling to the scene at [a named location] observed two vehicles traveling in convoy at high speed away from the direction of [the named location] going citywards. Officers attempting to set up a vehicle checkpoint at Foyle Bridge, Londonderry observed two vehicles crossing the bridge, both bearing Republic of Ireland registration plates. One was described as silver and the other as a dark Volkswagen saloon or a black or dark navy Volkswagen Passat. Police systems were checked in the vehicles crossing the Ford range were identified as a black Volkswagen Passat vehicle registration mark (VRM) 07 D 7897 and a grey Toyota Corolla VRM 06 WW 1870. The details were passed to An Garda Siochána (“AGS”). On receipt of this information to Gardaí left Ballyshannon in the direction of Lifford. When driving through the village of Killygordon, 15 Km from Lifford, they observed a black Volkswagen Passat VRM 07 D 7897, on its own, travelling in the opposite direction. Gardaí turned their patrol vehicle, activated their blue lights and located the vehicle again. The Passat overtook the stationary vehicle at red traffic lights and increased its speed in an attempt to evade Gardaí but eventually came to a stop approximately 2 ½ miles from where it was first sighted. This was at approximately 0352 hours, just over one hour after the sighting by [M.Y.] . The vehicle had 3 male occupants who refused to confirm their identity. All 3 were arrested on suspicion of membership of an illegal organization. The driver of the Passat was later identified as Kieran Maguire, the front seat passenger as Sean McVeigh and the rear seat passenger was Sean Farrell. Kieran Maguire was taken to Letterkenny Garda Station. His clothing was seized, photographs, fingerprints and buccal swabs were taken. AGS interviewed Kieran Maguire after caution. He was subsequently released without charge. AGS found 6 gloves, later identified as 3 matching pairs, on the road along which the Passat had travelled. The gloves recovered included a pair of black/grey “marigold” type gloves. Both the Volkswagen Passat and Toyota Corolla were identified as having been stolen and both bore false VRM's. The car mats from both vehicles were forensically examined for explosives residue. A low amount of RDX, an explosive compound, was found on the passenger front foot well mats and other locations in the vehicles. Forensic examination of the DNA profile recovered from one of the “marigold” type gloves was a low level profile and matched Kieran Maguire's DNA profile. Further, and a medium quantity of RDX was detected on this same glove and a low quantity of RDX was detected on the matching glove of this pair. RDX was also detected on a pair of “Next” jeans and “Wrangler” hooded coat seized from Maguire. A decision by the Public Prosecution Service to prosecute Kieran Maguire for the offences described at 1. Above was taken on 15 November 2016.”

The Proceedings Before the High Court

The appellant, as was his entitlement, contested before the High Court the application of the Minister to surrender him, and was unsuccessful. Surrender was opposed on several grounds. First, the Minister (as applicant) was put on full proof that the EAW was compliant with the Act of 2003 (as amended) and with the Council Framework Decision, of the 13 th of June 2002, on the European Arrest Warrant and the Surrender Procedures between Member States ( 2002/584/JHA) (“the Framework Decision”) as amended. In that regard the High Court found that the warrant, and the arrest on foot of it, was in full legal and technical compliance with those instruments. Save for substantive objections (discussed below) that were advanced based on s. 37(1)(b) of the Act of 2003 (as amended); compliance issues are not otherwise being re-canvassed on this appeal and do not require to be revisited.

The S.37(1)(b) Objections

Section 37 of the Act of 2003 provides (inter alia):

“(1) A person shall not be surrendered under this Act if—

( b) his or her surrender would constitute a contravention of any provision of the Constitution (other than for the reason that the offence specified in the European arrest warrant is an offence to which section 38(1)(b) applies).”

The reader should note that the qualification in parenthesis has no application in the context of this case.


There were three main facets to the objection based on s.37(1)(b). The appellant objected to his surrender on the basis that it would be in breach of his constitutional rights guaranteed by article 38 and article 40 of the Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht Na hÉireann). Specifically, he complained that:

(i.) evidence taken in violation of his constitutional rights would be tendered against him at his trial, and

(ii.) that if surrendered to Northern Ireland he would not enjoy the constitutional protection of his life, liberty and health as guaranteed under the Constitution, and all

(iii.) that if tried for the offences described in the EAW, he will be required to give evidence in his own defence, failing which an adverse inference may be drawn by the court based on his failure to give such evidence in circumstances where the court is satisfied that the prosecution case against him is sufficiently strong to require an answer from him. This objection arises out of Articles 3 and 4 of the Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1988 (“the 1988 Order”)


The High Court for the purpose of addressing the s.37(1) issue had sought additional information from the issuing judicial authority, asking :

Is it open to a trial court in the Issuing State (Northern Ireland) to draw inferences pursuant to article 3 and/or article 4 of the Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) order 1998 in connection with interviews outside the territory of the Issuing State (Northern Ireland), specifically those conducted in Milford and Letterkenny Garda stations with the two respondents?”


This request was responded to in a letter on behalf of the issuing judicial authority, from District Judge Fiona Bagnall, dated the 120 th of January 2020. For the purpose of answering the request she...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases
  • The Minister for Justice Justice and Equality v Maguire
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 4 February 2021
    ...Court of Appeal. 7 The Court of Appeal, in a judgment delivered by Edwards J., (see- The Minister for Justice and Equality v. Maguire [2020] IECA 341) dismissed that appeal. It is from that decision of the Court of Appeal that Mr. Maguire seeks leave to appeal to this 8 It is appropriate to......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT