Friday 31 October 2014

Soldier tries to stop court martial after being accused of assaulting senior officers

Aodhan O'Faolain

Published 29/07/2013 | 17:52

A SOLDIER who claims he acted out of character after his drink was spiked wants to stop his court martial.

 

The High Court challenge has been brought by Corporal Patrick Daly, who is facing more than a dozen charges including assaulting superior officers, insubordination, and being intoxicated while on active service with the Defence Forces in the former Yugoslavia.

He claims he acted out of character after he and others consumed a drink given to them while serving with the KFOR force at Camp Clark Pristina in Kosovo.

He is charged with punching a fellow soldier in the face, threatening to kill another who he said was "a prick and a faggot" and with kicking a superior officer in the groin and in the chest.

He is further accused of head butting, kicking, placing his hands on the throat of and lunging at other soldiers in his unit.

He is the third serving member of the defence forces to bring a High Court action aimed at stopping his court martial on charges arising out of the same incident.

Earlier this month two others, Corporals Kevin Delaney and Cathal O'Reilly who also claim their drinks were spiked brought proceedings over their proposed court martials.

Yesterday, Martin Giblin SC, for Corporal Daly, said his client was with a group of other Irish soldiers given a complimentary drink at the America bar, operated by US armed forces, on February 6, 2010.

His counsel said Cpl Daly did not know what the drink was. He lacked a clear recollection of events after taking the drink which he said caused him to become intoxicated and act out of character.

Afterwards Cpl Daly who is stationed at Cathal Brugha Barracks Dublin, was subjected to disciplinary sanctions.

He was confined to barracks before being repatriated.

The Military Police were asked to investigate the corporal's complaints about the drinks but this request was refused, counsel said.

That refusal amounted to a denial of fair procedures and a denial of their rights under Military Law, counsel added.

The incident had occurred more than three years ago but  matters had been delayed because a military judge had not been appointed, counsel said.  His client is entitled under military law to a speedy trial and the delay was a denial of his rights, counsel said.

The proceedings are against the Director of Military Prosecutions the Minister for Defence, Ireland and the Attorney General.

Leave to bring the challenge was granted yesterday, on a one-side only represented basis, by Mr Justice Brian McGovern who adjourned the matter to October.

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