Move to transfer Garda corruption trial out of Limerick

Limerick solicitor Dan O'Gorman, who is representing former Garda Superintendent Eamon O'Neill. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22

by David Raleigh

SOLICITORS have indicated that they will seek to move the trial of four gardaí and a retired Superintendent, charged as part of a major corruption investigation, out of Limerick

Limerick Circuit Court heard that legal representatives for the five accused have been sent correspondence from the DPP’s legal team seeking to transfer the trial to Dublin.

Earlier this year each of the five accused were served with a Book of Evidence and sent forward for trial to Limerick Circuit Court.

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Between them, they face trial on a total of 42 charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice over fixed charge penalty points notices.

The charges cover various dates from October 9, 2016, to September 6, 2019 in locations in the Mid West region.

A number of civilians identified on the charges include well known GAA and media figures.

The five accused are: retired Superintendent Eamon O’Neill, formerly Roxboro Road Garda Station; Sgt Michelle Leahy, Roxboro Road Garda Station; Sgt Anne-Marie Hassett, Kerry Garda Division, formerly Limerick; Garda Tom McGlinchey, Murroe Garda Station; and Garda Colm Geary, Clare Garda Division.

Mr O’Neill is accused of 30 alleged offences; Sgt Leahy is charged with two offences; Garda McGlinchey is charged with four offences; Garda Geary is charged with three offences; and Sgt Hassett is accused of three offences.

At a previous hearing in Limerick District Court, Mr O’Neill indicated through his solicitor Dan O’Gorman that he would be “vigorously contesting” all of the charges.

The charges follow a prolonged investigation conducted by the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investiagtion (GNBCI) into alleged squaring away of traffic offences, including failing to produce insurance, holding a mobile phone while driving, no seatbelt, driving without insurance, and in one instance, “how to offset penalty points in respect of a speeding detection”.

Detective Chief Superintendent Walter O’Sullivan, who has since retired as head of the GNBCI, previously told Limerick District Court that he arrested and charged the five accused separately, on April 29 at Mayorstone Garda Station.

None of the five accused said anything in response to the charges, the court heard.

The matter has been adjourned for mention to January 10 to fix a date for the DPP’s application to have the case transferred out of Limerick.