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De Rossa's son is fit to stand trial on assault charges

A SON of Labour MEP Proinsias De Rossa -- charged with assaulting his father -- is fit to stand trial, a judge was told yesterday.

Fearghal De Rossa (45), from Old Finglas Road, Dublin, is in custody on remand and was transferred to the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) in November to undergo treatment and assessments.

He has been accused of attacking his 71-year-old father, who earlier this week announced that he intended to step down as MEP for Dublin next month.

Fearghal De Rossa has been charged with assault causing harm to the former government minister in Dublin on November 11.

The DPP has directed that the case will proceed on indictment which means Mr De Rossa is to be sent forward for trial to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

At an earlier stage a judge had been told that there were issues in relation to his fitness to plead.

Mr De Rossa appeared again at Cloverhill District Court yesterday. Defence counsel Mark Lynam told Judge Ann Watkin that his client had been seen by an expert earlier this week at the CMH.

He said there was "no issue" in relation to Mr De Rossa being able to stand trial and his fitness to plead. No bail application was made and Mr De Rossa was further remanded in custody to appear again on February 1.

The defendant was of no fixed abode, the court had also been told during a previous hearing.

The maximum sentence he possibly faces is a five-year prison term.

Irish Independent