Special Criminal Court

Former Sinn Fein Councillor Jonathan Dowdall, who is accused of the Regency Hotel murder, has launched a High Court challenge against the jurisdiction of the non-jury Special Criminal Court to hear his trial.

Dowdall (43) is charged with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on the Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, on February 5, 2016.

Last April the DPP certified that under the 1939 Offences Against the State Act, the accused’s trial should not proceed before an ordinary court and that Mr Dowdall should be tried before the non-jury Special Criminal Court (SCC).

Dowdall, with an address on The Navan ….read more

Two men will go on trial at the Special Criminal Court in April next year accused of the murder of teenager Keane Mulready Woods, whose dismembered body parts were found at three sites in Dublin and Drogheda.

Paul Crosby (25) of Rathmullan Park, Drogheda, Co Louth and Gerard Cruise (47), with addresses in Dublin 1 and Rathmullan Park, are charged with the teen’s murder at a house in Rathmullan Park on 12 or 13 January 2020.

Tony McGillicuddy BL, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, told Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding at the three-judge, non-jury court, that the trial is likely to ….read more

A van that the State alleges was used by businessman Kevin Lunney’s abductors may have come to Ireland by ferry from Holyhead less than one month before the offences, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

It is the prosecution case that a Renault Kangoo van with a registration plate ending in PXU was imported by Cyril McGuinness, now deceased. In his opening speech at the beginning of the trial, prosecution counsel Sean Guerin SC said McGuinness organised the abduction and assault on Mr Lunney.

Shipping manager with Victor Treacy International, Laura Curran, today told Mr Guerin that her company received a booking ….read more

(Pictured: Lisa O’Hara. Credit: Collins)

A woman who has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of laundering more than €100,000 in crime cash didn’t know where the money came from but was reckless in not asking questions, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Lisa O’Hara (32) and her former partner James Walsh (37) pleaded guilty today to multiple counts of handling or possessing cash while knowing, believing or being reckless as to whether the cash was the proceeds of crime. The court heard that they used €60,000 to put a deposit on a house and paid a builder €62,000 in cash for work ….read more

A lifelong criminal is to be sentenced next week for an armed robbery of a bookmakers, after which he hijacked a woman’s car and threatened to kill her.

Trevor Byrne, who has 44 previous convictions, had left his phone at the scene and was convicted earlier this year by the Special Criminal Court of five charges arising from the armed robbery of BoyleSports in Applewood Village in Swords, Co Dublin, on March 19, 2010.

Prosecution counsel Mr Shane Costelloe SC today told the non-jury court that both the owner of the bookmakers and the victim of the hijacking did not wish ….read more

Gardai have served books of evidence on four men, including a former Sinn Fein councillor, who are charged in connection with the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016.

Mr Byrne was shot dead at the hotel on the Swords Road in Dublin in February 2016 after five men, three disguised as armed gardaí, stormed the building.

Today at the Special Criminal Court, Garda Paul Doyle served the books of evidence on the four men and the prosecution also made available to them exhibits that include a CCTV montage.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding at the three-judge, non-jury ….read more

(Pictured: Prosecution Counsel Mr Sean Guerin SC. Photo: Collins)

The prosecution in the trial of four men accused of abducting and assaulting Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney has said it is “highly likely” it will close its case next week.

The trial began seven weeks ago before the three-judge, non-jury court and had initially been expected to take up to three months.

Sean Guerin SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, today told the court that he expects the prosecution evidence to finish at some point next week. Barristers for the four accused have not indicated whether they intend to call ….read more

(Pictured: Defence Counsel Mr Michael O’Higgins SC. Photo: Collins)

A barrister has complained that the presiding judge in the trial of four men accused of abducting businessman Kevin Lunney is “rubbishing” an important part of the defence case and was “dismissive and contemptuous” in his tone.

Michael O’Higgins SC was cross-examining fingerprint expert Detective Garda Ernie Frazer about blood marks inside a Renault Kangoo van when Mr Justice Tony Hunt interrupted to ask: “Where is this blood?”

Mr O’Higgins asked the witness to leave and then told the judge that he wanted to “legally complain of the observation made by the court.” ….read more

Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney was still in pain and was scarred and fearful of going out in public more than one month after he was abducted and assaulted, a doctor has told the Special Criminal Court.

Dr Muhammad Ashraf Butt, of Cavan General Hospital, examined Mr Lunney on October 25, 2019 and noted that he had a 7cm long scar from his right ear to his cheek and a 10cm scar from his right ear to his jaw-bone where he had been slashed with a Stanley knife on the previous September 17. Mr Lunney used a beard to hide ….read more

(Pictured: Accused Mr Kenneth Donohoe. Credit: Collins)

There is “very strong support” to suggest that firearms particles found on a jacket taken from a house where a man accused of murdering Eamon Kelly was arrested matched those recovered from shell casings recovered at the murder scene, an expert witness has told the Special Criminal Court.

Father-of-nine Kelly (65) was shot four times in the back as he walked towards his home in north Dublin in December of 2012. He was one of the country’s most well-known criminal figures, having been involved in organised crime for more than four decades.

The three-judge court ….read more

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