Search warrant disputed on Limerickman charged with slash-hook possession

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

Darach McCarthy, solicitor, disputed the search warrant
THE CASE against a man charged with the possession of a slash-hook in a Kilmallock bar has been adjourned as his solicitor argued the search warrant was “not properly constituted”.

THE CASE against a man charged with the possession of a slash-hook in a Kilmallock bar has been adjourned as his solicitor argued the search warrant was “not properly constituted”.

Arthur Conway, aged 37, of Deebert, Kilmallock is pleading not guilty to three charges - two counts of criminal damage and one count of possessing anything, namely a slash hook, with intent to damage property, The offences are alleged to have occurred at Daffy’s Bar, Wolfe Tone Street, Kilmallock on December 28, 2012.

Garda Robert Young said Mr Conway was arrested by gardai at his home in Deebert, Kilmallock on January 11,

Mr Conway’s solicitor, Darach McCarthy, said that the search warrant used was in dispute.

“The warrant says Deebert, Kilmallock. My client is not named in the warrant. Deebert is a large townland with multiple number of premises,” said Mr McCarthy.

Prosecuting garda in Kilmallock Court on behalf of the state, Sergeant Michelle Leahy said they did search a premises in Deebert.

“It’s not like we missed out on a major name of a house,” said Sgt Leahy, who also argued that the matter should have been raised at an earlier time, not on the day of the hearing.

Mr McCarthy said they didn’t have to “show their hand”.

Sgt Leahy said that in any event nothing was taken from the search of the house on foot of the warrant.

“They found my client. The property they left with was my client. If the warrant was not properly constituted how can the arrest be valid,” asked Mr McCarthy.

Judge Larkin rose to consider Mr McCarthy’s application and Sgt Leahy’s objection on behalf of the state.

When court resumed Judge Larkin said she had looked at the matter and read out to the court that, “The judge must be careful because of what flows from a search warrant”.

Judge Larkin likened the address of Deebert, Kilmallock, without reference to Mr Conway on the search warrant, to Gort, Galway.

“If gardai left with nothing and arrested him [Mr Conway] later or outside his house... Anything that flows invalidates the arrest warrant. The arrest of the accused on his premises is also invalid,” said Judge Larkin.

Sgt Leahy applied for an adjournment so they could consult with the state solicitor.

Mr McCarthy said his client “has had this hanging over him in the community for a long time”. He applied for Mr Conway’s bail conditions to be altered.

“They are very onerous - he has to sign on in Bruff one day a week. He lives in Kilmallock and doesn’t drive,” said Mr McCarthy.

The judge amended the condition and put the case back until the beginning of November.