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Saturday 16 December 2017

Man accused of 'Duck Egg' murder will face Special Criminal Court

Jason Keating
Jason Keating

A man charged with the murder of Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan will face trial at the Special Criminal Court.

Judges yesterday granted an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to try Jason Keating (26) at the non-jury court.

Earlier this month, at Dublin District Court, Mr Keating, of Lower Main Street, Rush, Co Dublin, was charged with the murder of Mr Kirwan (62) outside his house at St Ronan's Drive, Clondalkin, on December 22 last year.

Inadequate

At yesterday's brief hearing, state solicitor Michael O'Donovan made an application for Mr Keating to be tried before the special court.

The DPP can direct that an accused face trial there if it is deemed that "the ordinary courts are inadequate for effective administration of justice".

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, presiding, made the order.

Mr Kirwan, a close friend of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, was shot in the head and chest as he sat in his Ford Mondeo outside his partner Bernadette's home in Clondalkin.

He was the 10th person to die in the Hutch-Kinahan feud, which has so far claimed 12 lives, including those of two innocent men.

Mr Kirwan's partner was in the passenger seat but was not injured in the shooting.

Last week, the man accused of the murder told the court that he "is fully contesting the charge".

Earlier this month, Mr Keating had been sent forward for trial to the Special Criminal Court.

However, the charge was struck out on September 14 and he was told he was "free to go" after issues were raised around the initial paperwork.

Immediately afterwards, Mr Keating was re-arrested, charged again with the murder and remanded in custody following another court hearing.

Mr Keating appeared again before Cloverhill District Court on September 22, when he was served with a book of evidence by Det Sgt Damian Gannon.

Judge Victor Blake was told that the DPP had directed that Mr Keating be sent forward for trial to the Special Criminal Court .

The judge told Mr Keating that if he intended to use an alibi in his defence he must inform the prosecution within 14 days.

Dressed in tracksuit bottoms, runners and a green T-shirt, he replied "yes" when asked if he understood.

The judge agreed to a request from defence solicitor Robert Purcell to grant legal aid.

Mr Purcell told Judge Blake that, because some time had been lost, the trial date was possibly further away than it should be.

"Mr Keating is fully contesting the charge and is anxious for it to proceed," he added.

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