A SENIOR barrister charged with murder has had his bail terms relaxed so he can take a “short trip” with his family.
A court today temporarily lifted residency and curfew bail conditions for Diarmuid Rossa Phelan (53), who is accused of killing a man in a shooting on farmland in Dublin.
Judge Bryan Smyth granted the defence application at Dublin District Court to facilitate an upcoming two-day trip being taken by the accused.
Mr Phelan, a law professor, is charged with murdering father-of-four, Keith Conlon, at Hazelgrove Farm, Kiltalown Lane, Tallaght, on February 22.
Mr Conlon, a dog breeder from Kiltalown Park in Tallaght, was seriously injured in an incident in the Hazelgrove area at the foot of the Dublin mountains.
After the shooting of his dog, Mr Conlon was shot in the back of the head and died in hospital two days later.
Mr Phelan was granted bail at €100,000 subject to “strict” conditions last month and his case has been adjourned for the preparation of a book of evidence.
Under the conditions, he is to reside at an approved address, obey a curfew of 10pm to 8am there and sign on daily at a named garda station between 9am and 9pm.
Today, his barrister Karl Monahan applied to Dublin District Court for a variation of these three bail terms “on a temporary basis” as the accused was taking a short trip.
The variation was “to facilitate a trip within the jurisdiction by the accused and his family," Mr Monahan said.
A barrister for the prosecution said this was agreed. Judge Smyth said that by consent, the court would relax the residency and curfew conditions of bail, along with the requirement to sign on at a garda station.
The relaxation was for a specified upcoming two-day period and Judge Smyth said the full bail conditions would resume afterward.
Mr Phelan was not required to be present in court for the application.
On his most recent court appearance last month, the case against him was adjourned to July, for the formal directions of the DPP.
Directions will need to be given before the accused can be sent forward for trial.
The court made an order at that time for early disclosure by the prosecution of garda interview videos to Mr Phelan’s defence. The state had resisted the application, saying it was “premature” while a full investigation file had not yet been sent to the DPP. Judge Smyth had said while the disclosure application was “somewhat unusual”, it was provided for in the law.
Mr Phelan had been refused bail by the High Court but this was overturned by the Court of Appeal, which granted him bail.