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Woman charged with harassment of priest

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Ann Fennell

Ann Fennell

Ann Fennell

A DUBLIN woman accused of repeatedly harassing a priest is facing trial.

Anne Fennell (56) is charged with five counts of harassing the priest over the course of four weeks in 2006.

Before she was sent for trial, her defence raised objections based on alleged prosecutorial delays in bringing the eight-year-old case.

At Dublin District Court, Judge Patricia McNamara ruled that this was a matter for the trial judge in the Circuit Court.

Ms Fennell, of Monastery Gate Green, Clondalkin, is charged with five counts of harassment of Fr Desmond Byrne.

The offences are alleged to have happened at an address at Woodford Drive, also in Clondalkin, on September 30 and October 10, 11 and 29, 2006.

The charges are under Section 10 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act. The DPP directed trial on indictment on all charges.

premature

Defence barrister Brian Storan said the accused had been arrested and questioned in November 2006 and the case had taken eight years before a book of evidence was ready to be served.

The defendant had been living at her current address for the whole intervening period, he said.

State solicitor Ronan O'Brien said it was not the proper time or forum to raise this particular issue and the argument was "premature".

Judge McNamara gave the accused the formal warning that she must provide within 14 days to the prosecution details of any alibi she intends to rely on.

She then sent her forward to the current sittings of Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The judge said the delay issue should be deferred.

She granted free legal aid after hearing the defendant was unemployed.

She also ordered disclosure by the prosecution of copies of the video of the defendant's garda interview.

hnews@herald.ie


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