The Dock

Lisa Smith had been back in Ireland just a few hours when she was handed a cup of coffee by detectives at Store Street Garda Station. “The coffee is very strong in Syria,” she said, “this tastes very watery.”

It was a mild element of the culture shock she was experiencing. Over the next four days she would recall how her fear of hell-fire prompted her to go to Syria where she first lived in what she described as a women’s prison. She recalled her reluctant marriage and the beatings she received from her husband and the time she saw a ….read more

(Pictured: Marcos Vinicius De Silva Umbelino (L) and Eduardo Dias Ferreira Filho (R). Photo: Collins)

Five men who took part in the gang rape of a 17-year-old Leaving Cert student have been jailed for a combined total of 66 years.

Ms Justice Tara Burns said that the men, who were aged 17 to 19 at the time, “behaved like animals” on the night of December 27, 2016. She said there was “not a shred of humanity or respect” in their actions.

She said that the rapes and sexual assaults committed by the men involved “degradation of the most extreme nature,” and that even ….read more

The economic collapse in 2008 almost destroyed the once powerful Mansfield business empire but self-described “school drop out” Jim Mansfield Jnr was determined to get back what he had lost. In his efforts to do so, he turned to notorious terrorists Dessie O’Hare and Declan ‘Whacker’ Duffy for help, setting in motion a chain of events that would see the property magnate jailed by the Special Criminal Court.

“Jimmy” Mansfield, the non-jury court was told, was a jolly man with a “child-like innocence”. His enthusiasm and personable nature saw people from West Dublin “speak very highly” of him, his defence counsel ….read more

Kevin Lunney spoke slowly and calmly as he described the fear he felt that nobody would come to help as he crawled along a country road, shivering from the cold, with his shin broken, knife wounds to his chest and blood dripping from his face.

Giving his evidence in a matter of fact style, he did not embellish or exaggerate. He was not cross-examined at any length; the truth of what he said was proven by the injuries he suffered.

Mr Lunney said his attackers repeatedly told him to resign from his position as a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings and to ….read more

In the early hours of a December morning, Claire Lott looked down on the face of a daughter she did not recognise.

Nadine, a petite 30-year-old beautician, lay on the floor of her bloodied and thrashed home, struggling to breathe. She had suffered “extreme and grotesque” injuries to her face, blunt trauma so severe that the flesh had separated from the bone structure.

“I got down on the floor,” Claire Lott told a Central Criminal Court jury, “and said: ‘you’re OK, we can do this’”.

As a female garda began doing compressions on Nadine’s chest, Claire carried out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

“It was absolutely excruciating ….read more

(Pictured: Garda murderer Aaron Brady. Credit: Collins)

On an afternoon in January 2013, Aaron Brady sat calmly on a roadside barrier as he gave detailed lies to Sergeant John Moroney distancing himself from a crime that was the subject of every front page and news broadcast that morning.

15 hours earlier, Brady had shot Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in the head with an automatic shotgun, killing him instantly.

Just a few miles away a family and community grieved while Det Gda Donohoe’s colleagues, who had no time to mourn, combed the border region for anything that might help to identify the gunman ….read more

(Pictured: Trial judge Mr Justice Michael White. Credit: Collins)

A video of a witness telling gardai that he heard Aaron Brady admit to murdering a garda was circulated on social media, with text accusing the witness of being a “tout” or a “rat”, in what the presiding judge described as “the most outrageous contempt of court” he had ever seen.

After hearing from representatives of WhatsApp, Mr Justice Michael White found he was “powerless to prevent its dissemination” on that platform and could make no order that would prevent it being circulated.

It was, the judge said, a deliberate attempt to intimidate ….read more

(Pictured: Professor Jack Crane. Credit: Collins)

Two eminent pathologists clashed on the most likely cause of Bobby Ryan’s death, with one saying he probably suffered blows from a blunt instrument and the other suggesting he was more likely struck by a vehicle.

As part of the prosecution case, an entomologist (insect expert) gave evidence that the body, which was sealed in an airtight tank, was subjected to a single insect infestation in the weeks before the accused man Patrick Quirke told gardai he discovered the body.

The pathologists agreed that Bobby Ryan suffered multiple fractures to the head, ribs and the femur: a ….read more

(Pictured: Patrick Quirke. Credit: Collins)

From the outset, the prosecution said there was “no smoking gun” that would link Patrick Quirke to the murder of Bobby Ryan but Michael Bowman SC for the prosecution told the jury that strands of circumstantial evidence would be woven together to prove Quirke’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

During 13 weeks of evidence that was frequently interrupted by legal argument, the jury learned that Mary Lowry was married to Martin Lowry, who was best man at Mr Quirke’s wedding.

Martin died in September 2007, leaving Mary widowed with three young boys. Quirke soon started farming Martin’s land ….read more

(Pictured: Robert Ryan Jnr and Michelle Ryan, the children of ‘Mr Moonlight’, Bobby Ryan. Credit: Collins)

Patrick Quirke has been found guilty of the murder of part-time DJ Bobby Ryan by a ten to two majority jury verdict at the Central Criminal Court.

Following the verdict, Mr Ryan’s daughter Michelle delivered an emotional statement in which she said: “We will carry you with us in our hearts for the rest of our lives. So until we meet again Moonlight, know how much you are loved and sorely missed every day.”

Quirke, who was sentenced to the mandatory life imprisonment, had pleaded not guilty ….read more

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