Sunday 18 March 2018

No jury for O'Hare in death threat and imprisonment trial

Dessie O’Hare’s trial will be before the Special Criminal Court
Dessie O’Hare’s trial will be before the Special Criminal Court

Prominent republican Dessie O'Hare is to stand trial in the non-jury Special Criminal Court, accused of threatening a man's life and false imprisonment of three people in Dublin.

Mr O'Hare (61), of Slaterock Road, Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh, was charged with threatening to kill or cause serious harm and false imprisonment of a man at Rathcoole in Saggart, Co Dublin, on June 9, 2015, and falsely imprisoning two other members of the same family, a male and a female, at a house at The Towers, Garter Lane, Saggart, on the same date.

He was also charged with engaging in violent disorder and assault causing harm to another man at the same location.

He appeared at Dublin District Court yesterday and was served with a book of evidence.


State solicitor Rioghnach Corbett told Judge Grainne O'Neill that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has certified that Mr O'Hare was to be returned for trial to a sitting of a Special Criminal Court.

The non-jury court is used for trials involving organised crime and terrorism offences.

The decision was made under Section 46.2 of the Offences Against the State Act because in this case, the "ordinary courts are not effective for the administration of justice", Judge O'Neill was told. A date for his appearance before the Special Criminal Court has not been set.

Judge O'Neill agreed to grant legal aid to Mr O'Hare at his trial. She also told him he must inform the prosecution if he intended to rely on an alibi in his defence. There was no objection to him remaining on bail.

Mr O'Hare, who did not address the court, has not yet indicated how he will plead.

At his first hearing in January, bail was set in his own bond of €100, with a €20,000 independent surety. He had to surrender his passport, be contactable by phone, abide by a curfew and sign on daily at a garda station in Co Monaghan.

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