'We're bringing him home' - family support son from the public gallery
Published 15/03/2016 | 02:30
'We have him home," whispered a blonde woman in the front row to the older lady on her right, enveloping her in a reassuring half-hug.
"It's great, isn't it?" continued the woman, beaming from ear to ear.
Six more supporters of David Drumm helped to fill the front row of the gallery for the very public homecoming. Among them, the woman who previously described the defendant as her "rock" in "good and bad days" - Mr Drumm's 80-year-old mother, Mary. Returning the favour, the mother of eight sat front and centre in a bright red coat throughout the proceedings.
Shuffling down the wooden pew to get a better view of her son, home just in time for Easter, she blew him a heartfelt kiss in place of a hug - and received one just as theatrical in return.
It was a rare public display of affection from the former banker who later stared impassively ahead as the string of 33 charges against him was read out.
It wasn't the only show of emotion from the father of two, who had earlier burst into a huge grin upon seeing his family for the first time in seven years, mouthing simply: "Hi."
If the 49-year-old was suffering from jet lag after touching down in Dublin just before dawn, before being whisked to Ballymun Garda Station where he was formally charged, it certainly didn't show. Save for the tell-tale dark shadows under his eyes, Mr Drumm looked fresher and fitter than ever before without his trademark wire frame glasses and the remnants - or perhaps beginnings - of a tan.
As the sun shone in the nearby Phoenix Park, indeed he didn't need the heavy black overcoat that he clutched in the dock as the Director of Public Prosecutions argued that he posed a flight risk.
Taking to the stand briefly in a sharp navy suit, blue and white striped shirt and blue tie, his by-now household name wasn't the only thing that stood out amid a roll call of denim-clad defendants.
While earlier in the day, one had been released on €50 bail, Mr Drumm is expected to be released on bail today on a cash bond of €50,000, among other conditions, after spending last night in Cloverhill Prison.
The packed court was also told how four of his family and friends had also "put their houses up" to ensure Mr Drumm returned home to Skerries. Little wonder then that three of the women huddled close and held hands tightly as Judge Michael Walsh finally delivered his ruling just before 3pm.
In the end, there was no dramatic hugging or kissing in the front row.
Just a relieved repetition of that earlier mantra: "We're bringing him home."