Man applies for legal aid with €300k in bank

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Caused criminal damage during Dundalk burglary

Court

A south Longford man accused of assaulting his nephew during a row in a bog last year has had his application for legal aid reserved after it emerged he had around €300,000 in money tied up in various investments.

The accused, who is alleged to have carried out a Section 2 assault on his victim at Aska Bog, Abbeyshrule, Co Longford on July 28 last year, cannot be named for legal reasons on foot of an order made by Judge Seamus Hughes last week.

Inspector John Callinan said the likelihood of further, more serious charges being issued against the defendant could not be ruled out either after claims of “alleged interactions” of an historical nature between the complainant and accused had also been made.

As such, he said the matter was “inextricably linked” to the current investigation, he said the State required an eight week adjournment to investigate the claims further.

Solicitor for the accused, Tom Madden said his client had been in the bog helping his brother and nephew to bring home turf.

He said an issue arose soon after when a comment was passed by one of the men as why transporting the turf had been left at such a late stage in the year.

Mr Madden said the remarks sparked a “schemozzle of sorts” to break out.

However, it was what followed which Mr Madden accepted could ultimately prove more serious.

“A verbal exchange was had and he(complainant) made certain remarks to his uncle (defendant) of an historic nature and he followed that up the following day with a complaint and that complaint could take some time to resolve and a file will ultimately be sent to the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions),” he said.

Mr Madden said his client was keen to deal with the case at the earliest opportunity.

“We completely deny we touched him (complainant) but what has subsequently emerged is extremely serious and I don’t think it will help matters if it (alleged assault) is still brewing,” he said.

Under those circumstances, Mr Madden requested for the case to be struck out.

Judge Hughes, though, said throwing out the case before the court was simply not possible given what had also been aired.

“It can’t be struck out as there might have been a motive for the (alleged) assault and also due to the nature of an allegation of an historical nature,” Judge Hughes said.

Rather, and given the likely involvement of the DPP, the judge said Mr Madden’s client should be more perturbed with ensuring the “more serious matter goes no place”.

Inspector Callinan said inquiries into what had since been alleged were at an “advanced stage” with a file likely to be sent to the DPP within the next two weeks.

It was also at that stage an application by Mr Madden was made on behalf of his client for legal aid.

The local solicitor said his client was only surviving on disability payments but had submitted a claim some time ago, the proceeds of which were all “tied up”.

When it emerged the totality of those sums were in the region of €300,000, Judge Hughes joked at how he heard a groan from Mr Madden.

“I groaned because I wasn’t acting for him when he made the claim,” quipped Mr Madden in response to much amusement.

As such, Judge Hughes said he could not grant legal aid and instead reserved the application with the case set to return before Longford District Court on January 7, 2020.