| 6.6°C Dublin

Defendant deceased -- judge's verdict on The Don cocaine charges

COCAINE-dealing charges against murdered Dublin crime boss Eamonn Dunne were marked "defendant deceased" by a Circuit Court Judge.

Dunne (34), of Dunsoghly Drive, Finglas, was shot six times in the head and upper body by a gunman with a 9mm pistol in the Fassaugh House pub in Cabra on April 23.

He was regarded as one of Ireland's most notorious crime figures and was the leader of a Finglas-based drugs gang, Gardai believe.

In the Circuit Criminal Court yesterday, charges against Eamonn Dunne were mentioned before Justice Katherine Delahunt -- more than six years after he was originally charged.

He had previously been found guilty of a number of crimes, including the sale and supply of drugs, including cocaine, ephedrine and ecstasy.

The charges related to an incident at Cappagh Road in Finglas in June, 2002.

He was due to be sentenced last year, but the unavailability of a judge to pass sentence meant the case was put back. It was due to be called for mention yesterday.

Eamonn Dunne was originally arrested and charged in 2003, and the case has been before the courts since then.

He initially pleaded guilty to several charges but later indicated that he wished to change his plea to not guilty.

The court rejected this and Dunne appealed that decision to the High Court and Supreme Court. His appeal was unsuccessful.

The charges were finally laid to rest yesterday when his barrister told Judge Delahunt that Dunne had "passed away" and asked her to make no order.

"He is dead," he said.

The judge said she would mark the file "defendant deceased".

It was one of a number of cases involving Dunne before the courts.

In 2002, Dunne was brought before Dublin District Court in relation to an incident in which a man was found bound and gagged in a vehicle which was stopped by gardai.

If convicted on indictment, Dunne could have faced life in prison.

It is understood this case was still before the courts when Dunne was shot dead.