Friday 20 April 2018

Amid the frenzy, defendants had a look of moral outrage

Nicola Anderson

AN enormous pear-shaped canary diamond of at least five carats glittered mesmerisingly on the finger of Jim Kennedy's wife, Antoinette, as she sat in court.

The second, much younger, wife of the businessman, critically inspected her blood red manicure as she sat beside Kennedy's daughter and two sons as the family awaited with some impatience for his appearance yesterday.

There was a certain air of frenzy about the proceedings that had landed so unexpectedly in court room two of Dublin District Court at the late hour of 4.40pm.

One by one former councillors Sean Gilbride, Colm McGrath, Senator Don Lydon and current Cllr Tony Fox were called and appeared before Judge David McKeogh.

All bore an expression of moral outrage and were bustling and business-like as they consulted with their lawyers.

This being the District Court, a couple of junkies were called on minor charges of drug-related crimes. And then, Jim Kennedy himself appeared, plump and smiling in a dark suit. At first it looked as though he was wearing sun glasses but on closer inspection they turned out to be a pair of photochromic spectacles -- the type that darken in response to bright conditions.

A CAB officer, who can't be named for security reasons, took the stand to impart some interesting information about Mr Kennedy's lifestyle since he quit Ireland in the early to mid 1990s.

The place Mr Kennedy is currently calling home is an apartment on the fourth floor of the Four Seasons hotel. Other addresses he has previously supplied have been one on swanky Hanover Terrace, close to London's Regent Park and another in Gibraltar.

He renounced his Irish citizenship in 2002 and holds a British passport. He has previously held an Isle of Man passport and applied for a Gibraltar passport but it is not known if he has those.

He has a remarkable total of 10 children, some of whom live in Ireland while others reside in the Isle of Man and London.

His wife, Antoinette laughed silently as the CAB officer, who was reluctant for Mr Kennedy to be allowed out on bail, told the judge he thought the sum of €50,000 would be "acceptable".

Then it was the turn of Mr Luan O Braonain for Mr Kennedy. It seemed that such a move was impossible because of the lateness of the hour.

The court had been furnished with bank statements showing Mrs Kennedy had €100,000 in an account at AIB on College Green. Would they take a personal cheque?

The CAB officer added his voice -- those funds of €100,000 were transferred in only yesterday -- they could be transferred out again in five minutes time, he cautioned.

The judge consulted with the registrar. They had difficulties with a personal cheque.

Mrs Kennedy grimaced as the dithering continued and Mr O Braonain redoubled his efforts to prove his client posed no bail risk. It was a bank holiday weekend, he reminded the court.

He was successful, up to a point; along with other guarantees, the judge wanted €30,000 cash. Until it was forthcoming, Mr Kennedy would remain in custody.

But ever the optimist, he gave his family a large and cheerful thumbs up as he was led away. And at the last word, the Kennedy family members were hot-footing it up the street. It seemed there was a possibility someone could lay their hands on the cash.

Irish Independent

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