Accused: Gerard Mackin, Mark Heffernan and Patrick Hayes
THREE men who are charged in connection with a “crucifixion-style” attack at a house in Limerick city last year are to face trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court.
The defendants are accused of falsely imprisoning and assaulting a 51-year-old man at Larch Court, Kennedy Park on September 14, 2015.
They are Gerard Mackin, aged 34, who has an address at Star Court, John Carew Park; Patrick Hayes, aged 53 of Larch Court, Kennedy Park and Mark Heffernan, aged 32, of Swallow Drive, John Carew Park.
Previously, Limerick District Court was told it will be alleged by the State that the injured man, who is a member of a travelling community, was “lured” to the house in Kennedy Park where he was threatened and “set upon” in what was described as an “animalistic” attack.
The court was told a large amount of money was demanded from him before the attackers nailed his feet to the floor with a “high velocity nail gun”.
The man was subsequently treated at University Hospital Limerick where the nails had to be surgically removed.
Gardai strongly opposed bail applications by each of the defendants citing fears that potential witnesses would be interfered with if the defendants were released.
Evidence was also given during a bail application that the alleged injured party received a phone call the day after the incident warning him not to talk to gardai.
This week, Sergeant John Moloney told Limerick District Court that a file had been prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who has certified the ordinary courts are inadequate to deal with the administration of justice in the case.
Judge Marian O’Leary was told that books of evidence had been completed and copies served on each of the defendants.
Therefore, Sgt Moloney asked that the matter be sent forward for trial at the Special Criminal Court.
Solicitor John Devane asked that his clients be granted bail pending their appearance before the non-jury court.
However, following submissions from Sgt Moloney, Judge O’Leary ruled that any bail application is a matter for the Special Criminal Court.
Given the current lists, it is unlikely the matter will be listed for trial before next summer.