Thursday 18 July 2019

Prosecution to show 'extensive CCTV' in trial of two charged over Liffey boat chase

Ronan Stephens and Brian Stacey. Pic: Collins Courts
Ronan Stephens and Brian Stacey. Pic: Collins Courts

Tom Tuite

EXTENSIVE CCTV evidence is to be shown in the trial of two men charged over an alleged drunken boat chase along the River Liffey.

Emergency services were alerted to an incident at about 6am on June 1, 2017 when a boat left its mooring at a south Dublin bank sailing club.

Following a pursuit on the Liffey, it was brought to a halt and later two Dublin men were arrested.

Brian Stacey, 45, of Derry Drive, Crumlin and Ronan Stephens, 41, from Captain’s Road also in Crumlin face charges under the Maritime Safety Act and the Public Order Act in connection with the alleged incident.

They have pleaded not guilty and appeared again at Dublin District Court on Wednesday for their trial.

Judge Mary Cashin noted there were several prosecution witnesses and the evidence included “extensive CCTV”.

She said the case would not be reached as a result of a number of other hearings before the court yesterday/today (Wed) and it would have to be put back to a later date.

She held that the case needed a full day to be set aside for the district court trial and that it would be heard on June 5 next.

They were charged with being under influence of alcohol and failing to stop for gardai at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club while being the operator of a boat, navigating the craft without due care and attention, and endangerment of a RNLI lifeboat crew at the Shipping Lane on the River Liffey and breach of the peace.

Boat theft charges were dropped earlier after Mr Stacey’s lawyers contacted the DPP and explained he was the owner of the boat and had a receipt.

At their first court appearance, Garda Paul Moody said Mr Stacey “made no reply” when he was charged. He said the incident began in the early hours of June 1, 2017 and was on-going when he took up duty at 7am. Mr Stacey was arrested at 8.25 am at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club.

Garda Moody said it was alleged the incident happened at the Shipping Lane of the River Liffey at the East Link Bridge coming into Dublin city.

At the same hearing, Garda Patrick Collins had told the court that the co-defendant Ronan Stephens also “made no reply” after caution when he was charged. He was arrested at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

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