Sunday 19 January 2020

'Emails were a sting,' former K Club manager tells court

Peter Curran denies he forged and sent emails from his home. Photo: Collins
Peter Curran denies he forged and sent emails from his home. Photo: Collins

Tim Healy

A former catering manager at the K Club who alleges he was threatened at Punchestown Races has claimed before the High Court he had nothing to do with five "forged emails" sent in the name of Dr Michael Smurfit.

The emails to resort superintendent Gerry Byrne, purporting to be from Dr Smurfit in April 2015, referred to the alleged incident and Mr Byrne allegedly carrying out the instructions of Dr Smurfit.

Former catering manager Peter Curran was being cross examined on the fourth day of his action against his former employer the K Club Ltd, Straffan, Co Kildare, Dr Smurfit and Mr Byrne.

Mr Curran has claimed on May 7, 2011 his way was blocked in the toilets at Punchestown and Mr Byrne allegedly said: "Dr Smurfit has not forgotten the statements about him and the call girls. Dr Smurfit knows where to find you and this is not over." The defendants deny all claims.

Mr Curran yesterday denied he had anything to do with the emails sent to Mr Byrne in April 2015.

"I had nothing to do with this email saga. I am here with clean hands. I did not send the emails. It was a sting operation," he told the court. "It was a sting operation by Dr Michael Smurfit."

Mr Curran from Cahirciveen, Co Kerry, was being cross examined by Dr Smurfit's counsel, Shane Murphy, about the emails and the claim by Mr Curran that his iPad went missing the weekend of April 24 but was later found on the rim of his car wheel outside his home two days later.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr was also told Eircom provided the IP address from which the emails were sent, which connected them to Mr Curran's and his home router.

Mr Murphy put it to Mr Curran the emails were sourced from Mr Curran's Kerry home. Mr Curran replied: "That is incorrect."

He said it was a sting operation to undermine his legal team.

Counsel suggested the purpose of the emails was to try to make Mr Byrne make a false confession and the only beneficiary of the situation was Mr Curran himself "if this scam worked out". Counsel suggested they were not direct emails but to a web platform from Mr Curran's IP address. A report showed Mr Curran's broadband router has limited range.

Mr Curran said a car could park up the road within 20 to 25 metres of his home and work away.

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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