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Thursday 14 December 2017

'Teen crash deaths linked to city feud'

Man held on false imprisonment charge denies leadership of faction

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A MIDDLE-aged man was charged with false imprisonment yesterday as gardai claimed he was the leader of a faction involved in a vicious Cork feud.

Philip Murphy, 40, was formally charged before a special sitting of Cork District Court as gardai said the matter was related to a tragic traffic accident on Cork's Harbourview Road on May 13 last in which two teens lost their lives.

Mr Murphy, of 58 Killala Gardens, Knocknaheeny, Cork, denied that he was the leader of any faction in a feud on the city's northside and insisted he was innocent of the charge now levelled against him.

Detective Garda Matthew Walsh told the court Mr Murphy made no reply when he was charged. Mr Murphy -- who told gardai he is a heroin addict -- is charged with false imprisonment on May 13 last, contrary to Section 15 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Persons Act.

Det Gda Walsh objected to Mr Murphy being granted bail and said the matter before the court was related to an incident on Harbourview Road last Thursday night.

That incident -- a collision between a Volkswagen Golf containing two men and a Ford Mondeo containing five people -- resulted in the Mondeo careering down an embankment and into the gable end of a house.

CJ Dolan, 16, a backseat passenger in the Ford, died shortly after being rushed to Cork University Hospital (CUH). Derry O'Callaghan, 19, who was also a passenger in the Mondeo, died on Friday morning after CUH surgeons were unable to stabilise his condition.

Det Gda Walsh yesterday told Judge Brian Sheridan that gardai had conducted a risk assessment of the Knocknaheeny area where he said tensions were currently running at a very high level.

He said that two factions in the area were currently engaged in a feud -- and he told the court that gardai believed the accused was associated with one of the factions.

"There is a major feud on the northside of the city and Philip Murphy is the leader of one of these gangs," Det. Garda Walsh said.

Mr Murphy denied this and told the court that the feud had been ongoing for two years and did not involve him.

Det Gda Walsh said extra garda manpower had been brought into the Knocknaheeny area and that armed gardai were also now on patrol.

Judge Sheridan was told that gardai also had concerns Mr Murphy might interfere with witnesses if granted bail.

Gardai were formally seeking a remand in custody given the serious nature of the charge. Defence counsel Joe Cuddigan applied for bail and said his client was willing to comply with whatever stringent conditions the court might require.

However, Judge Sheridan granted the garda application and remanded Murphy in custody. He ordered that Mr Murphy appear again before Cork District Court on Tuesday next, May 18. He granted Mr Murphy free legal aid and directed that he receive whatever medical treatment he might require in custody.

Sunday Independent

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