A CRIMINAL figure has failed in his bid to have a high-powered car seized after the attempted murder of Christy Keane earlier this year returned to him.
The 08 registered BMW 5 Series was seized when a property on the outskirts the city was searched a number of days after Mr Keane was shot at a car park adjacent to the University of Limerick Arena on June 29, last.
The 54-year-old sustained gunshot wounds to his body and arms when his SUV was targeted at around 6.45am as he was parking before attending the gym. However, he managed to make his way from the car park to the running track before his attackers fled.
Making a Police Property Application on behalf of the owner of the car, Paddy O’Neill BL, said the BMW has been in the possession of gardai for more than five months and that his client was being deprived of its use.
He said the vehicle was depreciating in value every day and he submitted the State has had ample time to carry out any forensic tests deemed necessary.
“It is incumbent on the State to carry out tests expeditiously. I haven’t heard anything,” he said.
He added that his client, who is aged 37, has not been questioned about the shooting and that no reason for the continued detention of the car has been forthcoming.
Opposing the application, Sergeant Donal Cronin said the investigation into the attempted murder is ongoing and that considerable garda resources have been allocated to the investigation.
“Several lines of enquiry are being pursued,” he said adding that he could not comment on any of the specific details or intricacies for operational reasons.
Sgt Cronin said the vehicle was seized in accordance with law and he submitted it was not unreasonable for gardai to still have it in their possession given the seriousness of what happened.
Judge Mary Larkin agreed but said the patience of the court was “not infinite”.
She said she was satisfied gardai were entitled to retain the car for a reasonable period and indicated she will review the matter in February.