Thursday 29 September 2016

An outpouring of relief and emotion as former banker embraces family on leaving custody

Published 16/03/2016 | 02:30

David Drumm pictured leaving court with friends and family after he was granted bail. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
David Drumm pictured leaving court with friends and family after he was granted bail. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

David Drumm threw his arms around his sisters in a display of relief and emotion, against a sombre backdrop of lawyers and defendants bustling through the Great Hall of the Courts of Criminal Justice.

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His face reddened and he wiped his nose as he turned next to his sister-in-law and then his mother-in-law with affectionate hugs with, finally, a more sedate embrace for his father-in-law - who turned gruffly away to one side before patting him awkwardly on the back.

Aside from the kisses blown across the courtroom the previous day, it was their first proper reunion since Drumm's dramatic homecoming from Boston.

But in reality, this was merely the hiatus marking the end of one lengthy entangled chapter and just the beginning of another - with two books of evidence, millions of documents and 400 hours of phone conversations in the State's case against him.

All in all, it was a bit of a day of reunions for him down at the courts.

Placed on Judge Michael Walsh's District Court list, he duly took his position amongst a number of brief custody hearings - including one man with an elaborate skull and floral arrangement tattooed on his forearms, and another man who was charged with dealing opiates.

The banker's parents-in-law, Georgina and Danny O'Farrell, sat anxiously in the benches beside one of Mr Drumm's sisters - whose face wore a radiant expression of anticipation.

Mr Drumm was ushered out, wearing the same black suit as he had for the previous day's sitting but had this time discarded the tie and wore his black overcoat as a variation.

His face seemed visibly brighter and he clasped his hands in his lap, forefingers together.

"Morning, your honour," he said in reply to Judge Walsh.

The hearing was short but packed with laborious technicalities.

The judge asked if the two joint account holders were present in court and Mr and Mrs O'Farrell stepped forward, agreeing that they were not acting as independent sureties for anyone else, had no previous convictions and would notify the authorities immediately if they felt there was any risk he would not show up for a court appearance.

Mr Drumm nodded faintly throughout.

The judge then addressed the defendant directly, instructing him that if he intended on calling any "alibi-type defence", he would have to furnish the names and addresses. Mr Drumm agreed that he understood this warning.

It was indicated that he would agree to the terms - of residing at the agreed address in Skerries, of signing on twice daily at Balbriggan station, to get a mobile phone, "keep it topped up with credit" and furnish the number to the gardaí, and that he would surrender his passport. In fact this had been done already, his lawyers revealed.

Asked if he was going to comply with all of that, Mr Drumm answered: "I will, your honour."

That was all for the moment. There was a minor glitch with the paperwork which resulted in a delay but after an hour, Mr Drumm was free to go.

He lingered with family members in the Great Hall and took a trip up in the lifts for a brief chat outside court 22 with his solicitor Michael Staines, before facing the veritable wall of cameras which had been waiting patiently all morning.

Had he any comment? "Thank you," he said firmly - and went headlong into the maelstrom.

Irish Independent

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