The Irish Mirror reports that two serving Gardai have appeared before a special sitting of Drogheda District Court charged with assault while on-duty.
But the proceedings were halted yesterday over a dispute surrounding the admissibility of key CCTV evidence allegedly taken on the night the alleged assault took place.
Both Garda Tony King and Garda Gareth O’Reilly are accused of assaulting Ryan McGlone at Matthews Lane, Drogheda on January 23, 2021.
The court heard that both men appeared at yesterday’s hearing after receiving a summons.
Gda King, who was wearing a light blue v-neck jump, a white shirt, and a pink tie, was charged with one count of a Section Three Assault and was represented by Sean O’Quigley BL.
While Garda O’Reilly, who was wearing a navy Ralph Lauren jumper and a white shirt, was charged with two counts of a Section Two Assault and he was represented by Deirdre Flannery BL.
Carl Hanohoe BL, who was prosecuting for the DPP following a GSOC probe, then outlined some of the facts of the case.
The barrister said the alleged victim who was identified as Ryan McGlone was “drinking” near a supermarket at which point he became involved in “a dispute with a third party”.
Gardai arrived at the scene.
The alleged victim was in the courthouse yesterday but wasn’t in the courtroom itself for most of the proceedings.
An issue arose was about the admissibility of CCTV footage allegedly obtained from a property near the scene.
The court heard that Gda Det Donagh Mannix along with an officer from GSOC visited the house which had allegedly captured the incident on CCTV on February 25, 2021 – more than a month later.
The CCTV which allegedly captured the incident was then downloaded and given to GSOC. The prosecution then attempted to play the CCTV for the court.
But both defence counsels argued that the householder needed to be present in court to give evidence. But Prosecuting Hanahoe BL said the householder had refused to provide a statement.
Following lengthy legal arguments from both defence counsels, District Court Judge District Judge Michèle Finan ultimately ruled that the CCTV was inadmissible.
She stated: “The court’s view is that evidence of the CCTV cannot be admitted for authenticity because the provenance hasn’t been established.”
Judge Finan stressed that at present the issue wasn’t surrounding the authenticity but the “provenance” and said because the householder wasn’t able to give evidence about the CCTV that the “chain of evidence” had been “broken from the get-go”.
BL Hanohoe made an application for the case to be adjourned and stated that he wanted the High Court to make a decision on Judge Finan’s ruling on the admissibility of the CCTV evidence.