Court application to move Garda trial from Limerick to Dublin

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Retired Garda Superintendent Eamon O'Neill.

AN application to move the trial of four Gardaí and a retired Superintendent accused of perverting the course of justice to Dublin will be heard at Limerick Circuit Court this Monday.

Lawyers for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) have indicated in court that they will seek to move the trial from Limerick to Dublin Circuit Court.

On December 13, Limerick Circuit Court Judge Tom O’Donnell heard that the DPP had notified the five accused of an application to transfer the trial to the next sittings of Dublin Circuit Court.

It’s understood newspaper coverage of the allegations against the five accused will form part of the reasons for the DPP’s request to transfer the trial out of Limerick.

The five accused have each been served with a Book of Evidence, and were returned for trial to Limerick Circuit Court last year, on a total of 42 charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

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The charges, which relate to the alleged squaring away of fixed charge penalty points, cover various dates from October 9, 2016, to September 6, 2019, at various locations in mid-west region.

A number of well known GAA players, officials, and a politician are among those named on the charges but these persons are not charged with any offences.

The five accused are, retired Superintendent Eamon O’Neill, formerly Roxboro Road Garda Station; Sergeant Michelle Leahy, Roxboro Road Garda Station; Sergeant 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 faces two offences; Garda McGlinchey is charged with four offences; Garda Geary, three offences; and Sgt Hassett, three offences.

At a previous hearing of Limerick District Court, Mr O’Neill indicated through his solicitor Dan O’Gorman that he would be vigorously contesting all of the charges. The other four accused have not yet indicated a plea but they are also expected to plead not guilty to the charges.

The five accused were arrested as part of 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 and no insurance.