Friday 21 July 2017

Defendants keep their distance in brief court appearance

Shane Hickey

NOT a word passed between them.

As they waited for Judge Patrick J McMahon to start proceedings, the four men sat just a few feet from each other, united only in their clear distance from each other.

Yesterday marked the third day in court in less than a week for businessman Jim Kennedy, who, with some of his family, sat behind the press in the second row of court number one in the new Dublin complex.

He had entered with a flourish, posing for photographers, before patiently waiting for the 10.30am start.

Directly behind the father of 10 was former Fianna Fail senator and councillor Don Lydon, alone and silent but for occasional chats with his solicitor.

To their left, again just a matter of feet away, was independent councillor Tony Fox -- also formerly of Fianna Fail -- who adopted the same sombre pose as Mr Lydon. At the back of the court was former councillor Colm McGrath.

Theirs was a brief appearance where they were served with the book of evidence before being told their case was being sent forward to the circuit court for trial.

Alibi

Mr Kennedy, in his trademark buttoned-up suit and silk handkerchief, replied "Eh" when asked by the judge if he knew what an alibi was, before confirming: "Yes, I understand."

Looking on from the benches were his wife Antoinette and other family members.

Next up was Don Lydon, who replied clearly that he understood what an alibi was, as did Mr McGrath. Each was told that if they intended to rely on an alibi they must notify the State within 14 days.

Meanwhile, in the adjacent court number two, former Fine Gael senator, TD and councillor Liam T Cosgrave -- the son of former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave -- sat alone and hunched forward.

Judge Denis McLoughlin told him the case had been sent forward for trial and gave him the warning about an alibi.

Two courts away in number four, independent councillor Tony Fox -- formerly of Fianna Fail -- sat alone after being moved from court number one. Mr Fox replied: "Yes, I do, yeah," when asked if he understood the alibi issue.

And with that, the five cases were complete.

Irish Independent

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