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Books of evidence served on Limerick gardai accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice

The Courthouse, Mulgrave Street

Limerick Courthouse, Mulgrave Street

BOOKS of evidence have been served on a number of serving Limerick gardai and a retired garda superintendent who are accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice over a three-year period.

The defendants were charged in April following a two-year investigation which was led by members of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

This morning, Detective Chief Superintendent Walter O'Sullivan of GNBCI gave evidence, at Limerick District Court, of formally serving copies of the book of evidence on four of the five accused.

In each case solicitor Liam Sheridan, representing the Director of Public Prosecutions, said there was consent for the matter to proceed on indictment before the present sittings of Limerick Circuit Court.

The five accused, who all have served in the Limerick garda division, are retired superintendent Eamon O'Neill, aged 54, who has an address in County Clare; Sergeant Anne Marie Hassett, aged 36, who has an address in County Clare; Sergeant Michelle Leahy, aged 45, who has an address in County Limerick; Garda Tom McGlinchey, aged 48, who has an address in County Tipperary and Garda Colm Geary, aged 34, who has an address in County Clare.

The alleged offences occurred on dates between October 9, 2016 and September 6, 2019 and all relate to detections for road traffic offences such as speeding, holding a mobile phone while driving, driving without insurance and not wearing a seatbelt.

During this Friday's procedural hearing, Judge Patricia Harney noted that copies of the book of evidence had been served on four of the five defendants and, having issued the 'alibi warning' in each case, she formally sent the matter forward to the circuit court.

Garda Geary and Garda McGlinchey were granted legal aid while Mr O'Neill and Sgt Leahy did not make such an application. 

Judge Harney refused an application, made by solicitor Dan O'Gorman, not to send the case of Mr O'Neill forward for trial. Mr O'Gorman had asked for some time to allow him to "consider" the contents of the book evidence in order to establish if his client has been prejudiced.

Eamon O'Neill faces a total of 30 charges, Tom McGlinchey faces four charges, Anne Marie Hassett faces three charges, Colm Geary faces three charges and Michelle Leahy faces two charges.

The four defendants who were present in court this Friday were remanded on continuing bail and only spoke to confirm their signatures on their bail bonds.

A medical certificate was submitted on behalf of Sgt Hassett and her case was adjourned to later this month.

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