A 43 year old man prosecuted for affray following an incident involving two key players in the Drogheda feud, had his case dismissed following a contested hearing at Dundalk district court last week.
Judge Eirinn McKiernan heard the incident only came to garda attention after Gary Reilly with an address at The Dale, Marsh Road, Drogheda made a complaint against the pair – which he subsequently withdrew.
When the case was called the Defence barrister argued that the charge of affray at the North Quay, Drogheda on July eighth 2019 required two or more people for a conviction but his client’s co-accused had been sent forward to the Circuit Court and he submitted that both defendants should be dealt with together.
The Defence barrister explained that Mr. Reilly’s van was attacked and he had made a complaint to gardai but those who had targeted him had left the country.
His client withdrew his complaint and subsequently both he and the other man had been charged with affray.
The investigating garda confirmed that the DPP had directed summary disposal and the barrister argued it was a mistake that the co-accused in the case had been sent forward to the Circuit Court on the affray charge.
Insp. John Callinan agreed that the charge should have stayed in the District Court.
The court heard the unlawful violence allegation related to when Mr. Reilly reversed his van, but the Defence barrister submitted there was no evidence of violence against the attackers who he described as notorious individuals.
He claimed his client was doing his best to get away from the scene and added the gardai would not have known about the incident but for his client bringing it to their attention.
Insp. Callinan said he didn’t believe the co-accused had to be present for the case to proceed and the court was entitled to consider the affray charge in the context of the defendant turning his van and getting out as the inspector argued there’s a duty to retreat.
Judge McKiernan said she was not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that she could convict.
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