Massive scale of probe delays case
THIRTY-one volumes of evidence have been compiled in the biggest criminal investigation ever undertaken in the West.
The evidence against two Galway brothers runs to a total of 9,000 pages. Some 180 tape recordings have also been compiled by detectives.
Eddie O'Loughlin (27) of Rockfield Park, Rahoon, and his brother, Michael (29) of Rahylin Glebe, Ballybane, are both charged with directing the activities of a criminal organisation in Galway between February and June of this year.
The brothers have been in custody since being arrested and initially appearing before a special sitting of Galway District Court in June.
Details of the scale of the garda files were outlined by Superintendent Brendan Connolly at a remand hearing at Harristown District Court in Co Roscommon. Supt Connolly told Judge Timothy Lucey that the 31-volume file had been submitted to the DPP on September 29.
While the matter was being dealt with as expeditiously as possible, there was an "enormous amount" of evidence to be sifted through, Supt Connolly said at the hearing last Friday.
Solicitor Sean Acton, representing both men, said that he understood that the investigation was the biggest ever undertaken in the west of Ireland, but pointed out that time had already been extended on a number of occasions for service of the book of evidence. He applied to have the charges struck out.
Judge Lucey said he had to take into account the scale of the case and remanded both accused men in continuing custody.
They are due to appear again at Harristown District Court on November 5.