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Top criminal lawyer accused of theft and perverting justice

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Lawyer Cahir O'Higgins is charged with stealing €400 from a defendant, as well as four counts of falsifying documents

Lawyer Cahir O'Higgins is charged with stealing €400 from a defendant, as well as four counts of falsifying documents

Collins

Lawyer Cahir O'Higgins is charged with stealing €400 from a defendant, as well as four counts of falsifying documents

One of Ireland's top criminal lawyers has been charged with stealing from a defendant and perverting the course of justice by falsifying documents.

A court heard that Cahir O'Higgins (45) told gardai: "I am surprised at this allegation. I am not guilty."

He is facing trial on the charges, and the case against him was adjourned for the preparation of a book of evidence.

Judge Colin Daly remanded him on continuing bail in his absence.

Mr O'Higgins, whose address was given as Cahir O'Higgins and Company, Kingsbridge House, Parkgate Street, was not required to be present when his case came before Dublin District Court yesterday.

Notes

He is charged with stealing €400 from a defendant who was before the courts on July 30, 2016.

The theft is alleged to have happened at Londis on Parkgate Street, near the Criminal Courts of Justice.

Mr O'Higgins is also charged with four counts of falsifying documents to pervert the course of justice.

Two counts are alleged to have taken place within the State on December 8, 2017, and another two at the Bridewell Garda Station four days later.

According to the charges, Mr O'Higgins produced to gardai a copy of notes purported to have been made by him on July 30, 2016.

Two of the charges allege that the copy of notes produced to the gardai was not made on the date purported, while the other two allege that it contained information Mr O'Higgins knew to be untrue.

It is alleged this was with intent to pervert the course of public justice, in the context of a criminal investigation in respect of an allegation of theft against him.

Detective Garda Colm Kelly told the court he arrested Mr O'Higgins at Bridewell Garda Station for the purpose of charge at 2.28pm last April 7.

Between 2.51pm and 2.56pm, he was charged by Garda Sergeant Dave O'Leary, in his presence, Det Gda Kelly said.

He was cautioned, and in reply to all the charges Mr O'Higgins said: "I am surprised at this allegation. I am not guilty. I will answer it at the appropriate time in court."

The DPP was directing trial on indictment on all matters, Det Gda Kelly said, meaning the case will be sent forward for trial by judge and jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court when a book of evidence is ready.

Det Gda Kelly said the DPP would consent to the accused being sent forward on a signed plea of guilty should this arise.

Delay

Defence barrister Karl Monahan said there was an issue of prosecutorial delay in the case.

Judge Daly said that would be a matter for the trial.

"It's a matter I am required to put on the record at this time," Mr Monahan said.

Judge Daly remanded Mr O'Higgins on continuing bail in his absence to appear in court on June 16.

Mr O'Higgins is the managing partner of his firm, which provides a full range of legal services including criminal defence and human rights law.

His firm has represented clients at all levels of the criminal justice system and he has frequently featured on lists of Ireland's top-paid legal aid solicitors.