Judge relaxes lawyer accused of murder’s bail conditions to allow him to go on ‘vacation’

A judge has allowed bail to be temporarily relaxed, allowing a lawyer charged with murder to take two short vacations.

arrister Diarmuid Rossa Phelan, 53, a law professor, is accused of murdering father of four, Keith Conlon, on Mr Phelan’s farmland in February.

Today a judge said the bail conditions that prevented Mr Phelan from returning to his Dublin farm could not be overturned at District Court level and his application would have to be referred back to the Court of Appeal.

However, Judge Bryan Smyth allowed bail to be temporarily relaxed for two “short domestic holidays”.

He adjourned the case for an evidence book to be drawn up after hearing that formal instructions for the trial had been given and no further charges had been filed.

Mr Phelan is accused of murdering Mr Conlon on February 22 at Hazelgrove Farm, Kiltalown Lane, Tallaght.

Mr Conlon, a dog breeder from Kiltalow Park in Tallaght, was seriously injured in an incident on Mr Phelan’s land at the foot of the Dublin Mountains and was pronounced dead in hospital two days later.

The Supreme Court denied Mr Phelan bail in March, but the following month the Court of Appeal reversed that decision and released him on bail of €100,000 conditionally.

Conditions included a night curfew at an approved address and a requirement to report to a Garda station daily

He should also stay away from Tallaght and his possessions in Wexford.

Today the defense requested a temporary bail change for two two-day domestic holidays later this month. The public prosecutor agreed to this.

Defense attorney Karl Monahan said the defendant was looking for other variations related to the hours-long curfew and the defendant’s “urgent need” to return to his farm in Tallaght.

Mr Phelan, a farmer, also wanted to return to a farm in Wexford, Mr Monahan said.

The court heard there were “serious objections” from prosecutors.

Today, Mr. Monahan argued that the Court of Appeals’ order provided that motions to change the bail be brought in the District Court. Section 6 of the Bail Act does not bar the district court’s jurisdiction, he said.

Prosecuting attorney Jane McGowan said it was “pretty clear” under the Bail Act that any substantial discrepancies would have to go back to the court that granted the bail, in this case the Court of Appeals.

The nature of the requested variances in requesting return to the scene of the alleged crime itself and changing the curfew are “substantive requests,” she said.

Judge Smyth said he read a transcript of what Mr Justice George Bermingham said at the earlier Court of Appeal hearing.

Judge Smyth said it therefore seemed to him that if there was an agreement to change bail it could be dealt with in the district court, but if there was no agreement it should be remanded to the Court of Appeals.

Garda Sergeant Michael McGrath said the DPP had officially ordered the case to go before the Central Criminal Court.

No further charges have been filed by the DPP, he said. He requested a four-week break to prepare an evidence book.

The judge granted the agreed waivers and placed the accused in custody on bail until October 3.

Mr. Phelan did not address the court during the hearing.

At an earlier stage, bail proceedings had heard that he had allegedly shot a dog with his rifle, and when the dog’s owner and his companions protested, he had picked up the revolver and fired three shots in their direction.

Mr Phelan had alleged he had been subjected to various threats on the farm, this hearing was told.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crime/judge-relaxes-murder-accused-barristers-bail-conditions-so-he-can-go-on-holiday-41963037.html Judge relaxes lawyer accused of murder’s bail conditions to allow him to go on ‘vacation’

Fry Electronics Team

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