The trial of Limerick man John Dundon who is accused of murdering Shane Geoghegan has been dramatically adjourned after he fainted in his cell and cut his head.
This afternoon, the Special Criminal Court was told that Dundon has been hospitalised and is being examined by doctors.
Peter Kelly, assistant chief officer at Portlaoise Prison, said he was part of the Irish Prison Service escort team which had brought Dundon to the Criminal Courts of Justice this morning.
He told Tom O’Connell SC, prosecuting, that during the lunch break, the call light in Dundon’s cell had been activated and that when he responded he observed Dundon on the ground with a cut on his head.
He said he had been treated by paramedics in the cell area and was being taken to a Dublin hospital for further examination.
Mr Kelly added that another Limerick man, Nathan Killeen, who had earlier appeared before the court on a separate matter, was in the cell with Dundon at the time.
After being informed of the development, the president of High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, presiding, said the trial could not begin in Dundon’s absence.
The trial was adjourned until 11am tomorrow when it is expected that medical evidence will be called.
Mr O’Connell indicated it is open for the prosecution to apply to have the trial heard in Dundon’s absence, if it is proven he deliberately injured himself in an effort to delay the trial.
Earlier today Dundon, aged 30, of Hyde Road, Prospect informed the Special Criminal Court that he was sacking his legal team and would be representing himself during the trial.
However after he formally pleaded not guilty to murdering Shane Geoghegan on November 9, 2008, Dundon said he wanted different lawyers to represent him.
Sitting in wheelchair, he said he would not be able to represent himself as he had left school at nine years of age and can’t read or write.
However, Mr Justice Kearns, sitting with Judge John O’Hagan and Judge William Hamill, said the trial would proceed and that the court would “provide every assistance” to Dundon to ensure his interests were protected.