Judge won’t hear Limerick gang case

Judge Eugene OKelly declined jurisdiction
A JUDGE has refused jurisdiction in the case of five alleged members of a criminal gang who are accused of violent disorder.

A JUDGE has refused jurisdiction in the case of five alleged members of a criminal gang who are accused of violent disorder.

It is alleged the accused men, who are all aged in their mid-twenties travelled to a house at Bru na Gruadan, Castletroy last year with the intention of attacking the occupants.

Outlining the alleged facts of the case, Detective Garda Brendan Stokes, said while investigating complaints that a married couple had been the subject of ongoing threats and intimidation over several months, gardai became aware of an imminent attack on their home.

He said the family was immediately removed from the house and taken to a safe location while a urveillance operation was mounted at the house.

He told Limerick Court that shortly before midnight on October 16, last a Volkswagen Golf was observed entering the estate.

He said the vehicle was driving slowly and tried to evade gardai when they attempted to stop it.

The detective added that eight men were inside the car and that they were armed with makeshift weapons such as pick-axe handles and shovels.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told gardai had to draw their guns as they arrested the occupants of the car and seized the weapons.

After hearing the alleged facts, Judge O’Kelly told Sergeant Donal Cronin, prosecuting, that he was not willing to hear the case as the circumstances are “serious enough to warrant trial on indictment”.

Making his decision, Judge O’Kelly noted that the DPP had previously indicated that another man, charged in relation to the same incident, should face trial on indictment at Limerick Circuit Court and he commented that it would make sense to have one hearing rather than two.

After declining jurisdiction, he adjourned the case until November 12, next to allow the DPP consider the matter.

Meanwhile, the Limerick Chronicle has learned that one of those arrested on the night of the alleged offence has since died and that the eighth occupant of the car - a minor - was dealt with by way of juvenile caution.

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