Thursday 24 May 2018

Two on conspiracy-to-kill charge accused of second murder plot at city pub

The 44 Talbot pub in Dublin city centre. Photo: Frank McGrath
The 44 Talbot pub in Dublin city centre. Photo: Frank McGrath

Andrew Phelan

Two Dublin men facing trial over an alleged plot to kill a man have now been further charged with conspiring to murder "a person or persons unknown".

Alan Wilson and Joseph Kelly were remanded in custody when they appeared in Cloverhill District Court on the new charges. Two co-accused men had no additional charges brought against them and their cases were also adjourned.

Mr Wilson (38), from New Street Gardens, Dublin 8, and Mr Kelly (35), from Kilworth Road, Dublin 12, along with Luke Wilson (23), from Cremona Road, Ballyfermot, and Liam Brannigan (38), from Bride Street, Dublin 8, were already charged with conspiracy to murder Gary Hanley on dates between September 15 and November 6 last.

Yesterday, Alan Wilson and Mr Kelly were both further charged with conspiring to murder a person or persons unknown at the 74 Talbot Public House, Talbot Street, between September 11 and 15, 2017.

On the original charges, State solicitor Michael Durkan said the 42 days allowed for the service of the books of evidence were up, but the book was not ready yet.

He said key proofs in the case were the authorisation of surveillance by three Garda superintendents.

One authorisation had been obtained and the prosecution was awaiting the other two. It was hoped the books would be ready soon.

Mr Brannigan's barrister Miriam Delahunt asked Judge Victor Blake to strike his charge out. The State had been "dragging its heels" in a manner that she could only describe as "an abuse of process".

Det Gda John Rourke of the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau said Mr Kelly made no reply to the new charge after caution. Mr Kelly's solicitor David Linehan accepted it was "a complex case" but said the State's failure to comply with its requirement to prepare the book of evidence had not been adequately explained and he asked the judge to strike out the existing case.

Det Gda Brian Johnson said Alan Wilson also made no reply to the new charge.

Aoife O'Halloran BL, for Mr Wilson, asked to clarify if this charge was to be incorporated into the same book of evidence, or if it was "a stand-alone charge".

"No, they are all travelling together," Mr Durkan said.

Alan Wilson had been in custody for a "significant period of time" - this was not satisfactory and the onus was on the State to get the superintendents' authorisation, Ms O'Halloran said.

The case "went down to the wire" for the DPP's directions, which arrived at the 11th hour, she said, and "we find ourselves again at the 11th hour with new charges being proffered".

"This is a tactic being deployed by the State to garner the benefit of another 42 days," Ms O'Halloran said.

It was a "complex and unusual charge" with a large file to be considered, Mr Durkan said. Judge Blake said the State should make every effort to have the authorisations and the book prepared.

In Luke Wilson's case, his solicitor Matthew De Courcy said yesterday was the final day of the 42-day time period, and directions had been given on February 21.

Judge Blake refused to strike out any of the cases, extended the time needed for the service of the books of evidence and adjourned Alan Wilson and Mr Kelly's cases to April 11.

None of the four accused have indicated how they intend to plead to any of the charges.

Irish Independent

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