Wednesday 7 December 2016

Dwyer seeks legal aid for case against gardaí

Tim Healy

Published 12/04/2016 | 02:30

Murderer Graham Dwyer. Photo: Collins Courts
Murderer Graham Dwyer. Photo: Collins Courts

Convicted murderer Graham Dwyer wants legal aid for his action against the Garda Commissioner and the State over the use of mobile phone records in his trial.

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Architect Dwyer was convicted last year of the murder of Elaine O'Hara (36) in August 2012.

Dwyer initiated his High Court action in January last year but a hearing date has yet to be fixed.

The matter was before the court yesterday in relation to an application to make a recommendation that Dwyer gets legal aid for the proceedings. The motion was adjourned to May 30.

The application has been brought because the High Court proceedings are not covered by either civil or criminal legal aid.

Dwyer, of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, is serving a life sentence for the murder of Ms O'Hara.

His appeal against his conviction has yet to be heard.

Many requests for disclosure of mobile phone records were made by gardaí and were granted by the relevant service providers. Phone data was also admitted into evidence during the trial.

In his High Court proceedings, Dwyer claims certain provisions of the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 breach his rights to privacy under the Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The directive underlying the 2011 Act was struck down by the European Court of Justice in 2015.

During Dwyer's trial, his lawyers argued the mobile phone data was inadmissible but this was rejected by the judge.

In his High Court action, Dwyer is also seeking, if appropriate, damages and, if necessary, a reference of issues to the European Court of Justice.

The case is against the Garda Commissioner, the DPP and the Ministers for Justice and Communications, as well as Ireland and the Attorney General.

Last month, the architect became involved in an altercation with sex offender Noel Maher (44) on the landing of Midlands Prison.

Mr Maher punched Dwyer in the face after Dwyer confronted him. Dwyer did not did not require hospital treatment for his injuries.

Irish Independent

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