JOHN Dundon labelled a High Court judge a “big fat pig” after the Special Criminal Court ruled the Limerick man can be tried for the murder of Garryowen rugby player Shane Geoghegan as scheduled next month.
Asking if he could address presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler after the ruling, Dundon leaned in to the microphone in the room where he was appearing via video-link and said: “I know I’m a Dundon, but I’m a human being... but do you want to find me guilty now or find me guilty on another date?”
“To me, there is no fair trial there”, the 29-year-old remarked, before adding that he had been given 26,000 pages of disclosure in the advent of his trial on June 4th.
When Mr Justice Butler said the court would rise, Dundon could be heard saying “Okay, okay, run away”, before shouting “Ya big fat pig” as he stood up and turned away from the video-link camera.
Dundon’s defence team had sought an adjournment of the matter until next year in the interests of a fair trial, after they received thousands of pages of what was described as “thrown together” investigative material.
The court heard that 26,082 pages of evidence, 1,226 discs of CCTV footage, two hard drives and a memory stick were disclosed to Madden & Finucane solicitors at the beginning of the month and that the firm estimated it would take 186 working days to read through the disclosed material and 295 working days to view the CCTV footage.
The State had objected to any adjournment because of “serious concerns” over the security of the proposed chief prosecution witness in the case.
Counsel for the State, Mr Tom O’Connell SC, previously told the court that most of the documents disclosed were also generated in the course of an earlier, overlapping investigation involving a different individual represented by the same firm of solicitors.
Ruling on the application, Mr Justice Butler said the court had to balance the potential danger to life against the danger of Dundon not receiving a fair trial.
Were the case not to commence Mr Justice Butler said, it appeared there would be a long postponement as the defence could not say how long their categorisation of the disclosure would take and the court had a “full diary” in relation to sitting dates.
He said the fact remained that “very many” of the documents disclosed had been made available to the defence in a related case where Madden & Finucane were also the representing solicitors and had employed the same senior counsel.
Although the court had an “absolute duty” to ensure a fair trial is heard, Mr Justice Butler said the court also had regard to evidence that most of the documents were not relevant to the upcoming trial.
He said as far as the court was concerned the trial of Dundon should commence on June 4th.
John Dundon, with a last address at Hyde Road, Limerick, is due to stand trial next month for the murder of 28-year-old Shane Geoghegan at Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Limerick, on November 9th, 2008.
The case was brought before the non-jury Special Criminal Court in August last year as the Director of Public Prosecutions certified that the ordinary courts were inadequate to secure the administration of justice.
The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.