Judge raises concerns over media coverage

Judge Seamus Hughes highlighted his concerns over media coverage in respect of two men charged in relation an alleged robbery at a rural business dwelling in Killoe, Co Longford.

Judge Seamus Hughes highlighted his concerns over media coverage in respect of two men charged in relation an alleged robbery at a rural business dwelling in Killoe, Co Longford.

The judge said one national newspaper had published articles that might be deemed prejudicial to the case and has referred the lead story and editorial to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for consideration.

The judge’s comments came after a bail application was made in respect of Joseph Bates (33), 12B Boyne Street, Dublin 2 and Ray Ward (34), 14 Colthurst Road, Huntington Glen, Lucan, Co Dublin, both of whom are charged in connection with a robbery at Killoe, Co Longford in the early hours of Friday February 24.

Defence solicitor Ms Bríd Mimnagh, in seeking bail on behalf of her clients, said that Mr Bates had a drug addiction that “required immediate treatment” and that Mr Ward, who is suffering from cancer, “also requires medical care”.

Judge Hughes refused bail and ordered that the defendants be transferred to Cloverhill Prison where they be afforded all the necessary medical care that they require.

“The defendants are innocent in the eyes of the law until determination of their trial,” said Judge Hughes.

“I refer to an article being a lead story and editorial in the Irish Daily Mail (February, 25, 2012) which was suggestive of a highly prejudical matter for which there may be no basis in fact, once the evidence is plead before a jury of their peers, drawn from an adult population in Co Longford.”

To read this story in full, see this week’s Longford Leader.