A man who Dundalk district court had been told was unable to attend as he had tested positive for Covid, later arrived in the courtroom last week after hearing a bench warrant had been issued for him.
Brian McDonagh (26) with an address at The Steeples, Navan, Co. Meath was charged with stealing a bottle of Smirnoff Ice from Costcutter, Clanbrassil Street, Dundalk on December 2nd last and failing to appear before the court on bail 13 days later.
When his case was called last Wednesday his solicitor said her client had tested positive that morning with an antigen test and produced a photo, but Judge Eirinn McKiernan said she would not accept it as a test result saying “maybe you can go to the High Court”.
Ms. Kelly argued that under the HSE current policy her client is not entitled to a PCR test.
When Judge McKiernan suggested that Mr. McDonagh could have gone to his GP for the test, the solicitor pointed out that no GP practice would admit a patient with symptoms or who had a positive antigen test result.
A bench warrant was subsequently issued.
A barrister representing a defendant in a separate case later told the court his client had a positive antigen test and he had told him to stand across the road and not enter the courthouse.
Judge McKiernan said: “We’ll have to set up a test centre” .
That accused had their case adjourned as they had presented in person.
In the afternoon, Ms Kelly informed the judge as her client had heard the bench warrant had been issued, Mr. McDonagh had arrived in court with his positive antigen test adding “now somebody with Covid had turned up and put us all at risk.”
When he was asked if wished to have his case dealt with in the district court, or by judge or jury, the accused opted for trial in the Circuit Court and the case was put back to April 27th for the preparation of a book of evidence.
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