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Shannon Court Report: Charges dismissed

category clare | crime and justice | feature author Tuesday July 26, 2005 20:19author by Court Reporter Report this post to the editors

Conor Cregan cleared of charges

While the actions of Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan hold the Nations attention as the Rossport Five remain in detention, an Indymedia favourite (Judge Mangan) was in action again last week - this time finding in favour of peace activist Conor Cregan who was charged with S. 6 of the Public Order Act. Court Reporter provides a blow-by-blow account of the action which sees contradictory Garda evidence, "Erased tapes, missing evidence, Conor's third arm, and the invisible red book", all playing their part in this courtroom drama.

From the Report:
Mr. Cregan : [reads] On arrival I saw D. Sgt Joe OBrien and Detective Garda Fahy struggle with Owen Rice and Conor Cregan . How were they struggling?
Sgt Harran : Trying to hold on to them
Mr. Cregan : D. Sgt OBrien said he was holding Mr. Rice.
Sgt Harran : I cant say who was holding who.
Mr. Cregan : Who was holding Mr. Cregan?
Sgt Harran : I cant say who was struggling with whom. Garda Culliton went to D.Sgt OBrien, I went to Det. Fahy
Mr. Cregan : How long did it take you to get there?
Sgt Harran : We arrived at 1.15. It took 2 minutes to get to the scene.
Mr. Cregan : Where were you sitting?
Sgt Harran : In the back of the patrol car
Mr. Cregan: Where in the patrol car were you sitting when you arrived?
Garda Culltn: Front passenger.
Mr. Cregan: So you would have had a better view than Garda Harran in the back
Garda Culltn: Yes
Mr. Cregan: Did you talk to me
Garda Culltn: No
Mr. Cregan: . Why was there no verbal contact?
Garda Culltn: As I recall you were writing in a book as we were going the station.
Judge [to Mr. Cregan] : Its a matter for you to decide, but this witness has not incriminated you, you dont need to pursue this line, if it may incriminate you.
Mr. Cregan: Thats okay Judge. You say there was no struggling.
Garda Culltn: Correct

History of the Case:
Dec 8th 2003, December 11th 2003, December 12th 2003, Jan 17th 2004, Jan 17th 2004, Jan 18th 2004, Feb 13th 2004, Feb 13th 2004, Feb 17th 2004, Feb 18th 2004, Feb 23 2004, Feb 24 2004, March 1st 2004, May 22 2004

Erased tapes, missing evidence, Conor's third arm, and the invisible red book all played a part in this saga. The notes don't do it justice.... Defending himself, Conor Cregan had the bearing of a trial lawyer as he shredded the prosecutions case against him.

This happened two days ago, but it was a very long case, so apologies for the delay.
These notes were typed up from written notes, and are not complete, but for once, {and we don't know why} there was a stenographer in court, so we may have a full transcript in 2 weeks time.

Short version:
After umpteen court appearances, motions, requests for evidence, the case finally came to trial on Thursday 21st, in relation to a public order charge from Dec 7th 2003.
Conor, defending himself with great skill and diligence, argued that the arrest was bogus, and was only done to destroy evidence, as he was using a dictaphone at the time to record the arrest of Owen Rice. Mr Cregan argued that when the dictaphone was returned, the tape had been erased, and that this was done so that it would not contradict the Garda version of events which he labelled as perjury. In a long day that saw nine witnesses, Conor pointed out many contradictions between testimony of some Gardai and other Gardai as to what has seen, what property was present, and how he behaved. He also produced two members of the public, whose recollection of the events did not match those of the arresting detectives.
The arresting detective claimed Conor was shoving a dictaphone into his face while trying to break his grip on Owen Rice. Conor contended that this was impossible, as he had a large red book in his other hand, and had no third arm free to break anyones grip.
Both detectives denied any large red notebook was present, but another Garda testified that it was. Neither the book nor the dictaphone were listed in the custody record, and no reason was given other than forgetfulness.
At the end of a long day, the Judge spent almost five minutes explaining some of the reasons why he was dismissing the case.

Oh, and after all that, Owen Rice put on a performance on his own, explaining a few legal matters to the Judge and to the prosecution relating to his own case... read to the end!!

Formal version:
Court Report 21 July 2004
Shannon District Court (sitting in Ennis Courthouse)
DPP v Conor Cregan
Defence : Conor Cregan represented himself.
Prosecution: Inspector Tom Kennedy, of Shannon Garda Station
Presiding Judge : Joseph Mangan
Prosecution witnesses:
Det Garda Jarlath Fahy
Det Sgt Joe OBrien
Garda Harran
Garda Culliton
Garda Daly
Garda Brigid Comerford
Defence Witnesses :
Mr. Rice
Mr. Foley
Mr. Cunningham
Mrs. Wheeler.

Mr. Cregan, was in court to answer a charge under section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 in which it was alleged that he did use threatening or abusive language at Shannon Knights car park, Shannon on 7th December 2003
Mr. Cregan had refuted the allegation from the outset and each pre-trial hearing over the past year and a half he has asked for the charges to be struck out as being utterly without foundation. He had also on these occasions asked for the court to provide assistance in recovering data from a tape which he claimed a member of the Garda Siochana had tried to erase.
The court had refused to cover the cost of having an expert try to recover the audio data. Inspector Kennedy told the court that one of his Garda witnesses was unable to attend due to illness but who had made a written statement. When asked by Mr. Cregan if a doctors certificate had been brought to court, the Inspector said that it had not.Mr. Cregan pointed out that the onus was on the state the provide this witness, and that he should be able to cross examine him. Mr Cregan said, that he did not consent to the statement of the absent Garda being presented in evidence without the Garda being present to be quizzed on it. The statement was not allowed as evidence.
Inspector Kennedy said that he had seven witnesses to call. This issue was still hotly contested and the judge suggested that the whole case might move along more swiftly if the issue of the Dictaphone tape was dealt with as a preliminary issure, prior to dealing with evidence of the alleged offence itself.
Inspector Kennedy said at first that it was the states position that the tape was not relevant to the case, before he eventually conceded to having it heard as a preliminary issue.
The first witness called was Detective Garda Jarlath Fahy, of Abbey Street Garda Station, Ennis. [ Sworn in at 12:50]
Inspector Kennedy asked Det. Fahy is he recalled anything about a Dictaphone that Mr. Cregan had in his possession on the night in question.Det. Fahy testified that he had taken the Dictaphone from Mr. Cregan when Mr Cregan was holding it to his face as they were arresting another man. He said that he took the Dictaphone and put it in his pocket. It was his testimony that he had the Dictaphone for about and hour, and that nobody else had it during that time. He admitted that when Mr. Cregan was released from custody, that the Dictaphone had not been returned to him. Inspector Kennedy said the said that the audio information, if there had been any on the tape, was not on it later, and Mr. Cregan was alleging that it had been erased. Det. Fahy said that he did not do anything with the tape. When asked if the dictaphone machine was working he said that he presumed it was in working condition, and that he may have turned it on to check that. He also said that in hindsight, perhaps I should have kept it but that in any case he returned the Dictaphone to Mr. Cregan saying Here Conor, theres your Dictaphone, I forgot to give it back. Sorry
Mr. Cregans cross examination lasted for about 35 minutes. Firstly he asked why Det Fahy had taken the Dictaphone from him in the first place. Det Fahy said that the disctaphone was in my face Conor asked him to clarify this, whether it had been shoved in his mouth, or up his nose, and Det Fahy said that it was close to his face, closed than the court microphone was. Conor asked why didnt you ask me to move it away then? We were affecting the arrest of Mr. Rice at the time. Mr. Cregan tried to break my grip on Mr. Rice.
Mr. Cregan : You say Mr. Cregan was trying to break your grip on Mr. Rice, and at the same time, was showing a Dictaphone into your face. Did Mr Cregan have anything else in his hands at the time
Det Fahy said that he didnt recall anything else.
Mr. Cregan held up a large, bright red book with hard stiff covers (larger than A4 size ) and asked if Det Fahy had seen the book before.
Det Fahy denied seeing it before.
Mr. Cregan then asked what Det Fahy thought Mr. Cregan was doing with the Dictaphone.
shoving it in my face was the answer.
When asked if he had seen seen a Dictaphone before, Det Fahy said that he had.
When asked what he thought they were used for he said that they were for recording and replaying sound.
So, continued Mr. Cregan, It would be reasonable to assume that I was using the Dictaphone to record the arrest of Mr. Rice
Det Fahy : -its possible
Mr. Cregan asked if the Detective had previously arrested anyone for holding a Dictaphone, or if he had arrested a person who had a Dictaphone.
The detective said that he didnt think so.
Mr. Cregan held up a metallic grey Dictaphone and asked. Is this the Dictaphone?
Det. Fahy said possibly
Mr. Cregan handed it to him for closer inspection. He said its possible
Mr. Cregan said, jokingly, that perhaps it was a good idea to take it back from Det Fahy.
At this stage the Judge said he has already said it was possible
Mr. Cregan remarked that Det. Fahy had the Dictaphone for over two hours on the night in question.
Returning to the purpose of the Dictaphone, Mr .Cregan asked, that given that a Dictaphone was for recording and replaying audio, was it not reasonable to say that Mr. Cregan was using it to record the arrest of Mr. Rice on the night in question.
Det. Fahy said that this was possible if the Dictaphone was working, if it contained a tape, if the record button had been pressed
Mr. Cregan asked the detective if part of his job involved gathering evidence.
Det Fahy agreed that it was.
Mr. Ctregan asked Det. Fahy to him that if someone was recording an arrest, would he not see that recording as evidence. And would he have the power to use it as evidence.
Det. Fahy :- Yes. And in hindsight, perhaps I should have
Mr. Cregan :- Youre a trained detective, yes?
D. Fahy : Yes.
Mr. Cregan: If you had acted properly you would have collected the evidence.
D. Fahy: -I believe I did act properly.
Mr: Cregan: By not collecting the evidence. Thats pretty haphazard work. How long have you been a detective.?
D. Fahy: Since April 1998.
Mr. Cregan: And how long have you been collecting evidence?
D. Fahy : Since I started on the job 21 years ago.
Mr. Cregan: I say then, that you had a duty to collect as much evidence as possible. Can you explain to the court, the procedure of collecting evidence.
D.Fahy: If this was a murder case, I might have taken a different view towards it.
Mr. Cregan: Do you think its reasonable not to collect evidence relating to a case that might come before the courts?
D. Fahy. If this had been a serious case I might have taken a different view. I took the Dictaphone and I returned it in the same condition.
Mr. Cregan. Thats not what I asked you. Do you think it is reasonable not to collect evidence in a Public Order Act case?
D.Fahy repeated his previous answer.
Mr. Cregan: Youve repeated that a number of times. I submit that it is a lie. Can you tell me what evidence you did collect?
D.Fahy: I took the Dictaphone from Mr. Cregan, and I gave it back to him.
Mr. Cregan: How would you rate your professionalism on that night? On a scale of 1-10, 1 being pretty bad and 10 being excellent
D.Fahy. Thats not a fair question to ask me.
Mr. Cregan: Not fair to you? Im looking at three months sentence here, and you say Im not being fair to you?
Det. Fahy. Id say 10/10 then
Mr. Cregan: 10? When you have evidence in your pocket and fail to admit it?
[Holds up a copy of the custody record. Copies are given to Judge, Det. Fahy, and Inspector Kennedy.] Can you read to the court, what time this was written into the custody record about the Dictaphone.
Inspector Kennedy objects but is over-ruled.
Mr. Cregan: Will you read to the judge where it is recorded?
Det. Fahy: Its not in as evidence.
Mr. Cregan: why didnt you hand it to the Member-In-Charge as evidence?
Det. Fahy: Forgot I had it.
Mr. Cregan: On the custody sheet, is there a place to record property of a prisoner?
Det. Fahy. No
Mr. Cregan: So what happened to the stuff from my pockets?
Det. Fahy: The Member in Charge records it.
Mr. Cregan: did the Member in charge go through my pockets?
Det. Fahy : No.
Mr. Cregan: You did... You wouldnt want to be accused of stealing would you?
Det Fahy: No.
Mr. Cregan: What is the procedure then to record the property of persons detained?
Det. Fahy, It is recorded on the right hand side, under details of actions /occurrence
Mr. Cregan : five minutes ago you were saying the opposite, that there was no place to record this. I see some of my property listed there. Please read it for the court.
Det. Fahy: [reads] 36 euro and 50 cents, AA batteries, a wallet, a belt, gloves
Mr. Cregan: No mention of a Dictaphone. Would it not be procedure to list ALL property of a detained person?
[inaudible answer]
Mr. Cregan: Isnt it true that there is no Dictaphone listed?
Det. Fahy: No, its not listed and it should be.
Mr. Cregan: So, going back to our scale of 1-10
[Judge objects to the line of question]
Mr. Cregan: Did you search your own pockets?
Det. Fahy : No. I forgot I had it.
Mr. Cregan: I put it to you, that you didnt want that evidence put before the courts because it puts you in a bad light, puts your colleague in a bad light, and shows me to be innocent. I wont say you destroyed that evidence, but you attempted to.
Det Fahy I deny that.
Mr. Cregan: Theres no other explanation. After 21 years service in the Garda Siochana, you failed to put in all the evidence.
Det. Fahy: What was on the tape when it was returned is the same as what was on it when I took it.
Mr. Cregan: Are you sure your not forgetting anything...
Det. Fahy : I forgot to list it.
Mr. Cregan : I put it to you that you knew what was on that tape and you didnt want it known. On that night when you put me in the cell. Where did you go?
Det. Fahy: Upstairs.
Mr. Cregan : To do what?
Det. Fahy: Maybe to have a cup of tea in the canteen. I put my coat on a chair. The Dictaphone was in the pocket.
Mr. Cregan : Did you take the Dictaphone out of your pocket?
Det. Fahy: No.
Mr. Cregan: It was in your possession the whole time?
Det. Fahy: I left the coat in the canteen.
Mr. Cregan: So, anyone could have erased it then?
Det Fahy. Yes, its possible.
Mr. Cregan: Would you like to shift the responsibility on to someone else?
Det Fahy: I left the coat in the canteen.
Mr. Cregan: So, I was arrested, and I went into the cell. You went upstairs and had a chance to erase the tape.
Det. Fahy: I would have had ample chance to do that, if it was what I wished.
Mr. Cregan. What did you do then?
Det. Fahy : I went to fill out charge sheets.
Mr. Cregan made an allegation about the destruction of evidence, to which Det. Fahy replied that this had already been the subject of a complaint to the Garda Siochana complaints Board.
Mr. Cregan reminded him that the Garda Siochana Complaints Board sits in Dublin, and that they were presently in a court of law, a rather different entity.
Mr Cregan: Is it not true that you took the Dictaphone from my hand, I explained the motive already. You made statements regarding the arrest which we dispute. My evidence was on that tape, which you took, which you didnt list on the custody sheet or enter into evidence.
[inaudible reply]
Mr. Cregan : You had the motive, you had the means, you had ample opportunity.
Det. Fahy : I could have thrown it in a bin if that was the motive.
Mr. Cregan: The motive was to destroy the evidence.
Det. Fahy: I had no motive for erasing it.
Mr. Cregan: I put it to you that you had the motive and that you acted on it.
Det. Fahy: No.
Mr. Cregan: You had ample chance. How did it come to your attention to return it?
Det Fahy: the member in charge said Mr. Cregan was looking for his Dictaphone and I gave it back.
Mr. Cregan: Is it not true that you only gave it back when one of your colleagues challenged you on it?
Det Fahy. Yes.
Mr. Cregan: Is that not an admission of guilt
Det. Fahy: No.
Mr. Cregan: Just unprofessionalism
Det. Fahy: No
Mr. Cregan: Can you explain why the tape was erased
Det. Fahy: There was nothing on it.
Mr. Cregan: How do you know? Did you listen.
Det. Fahy: No.
Mr. Cregan: Are you telepathic?
Det. Fahy: Thats my explanation.
Mr. Cregan:Thats no explanation. I put it to you, that you brought that dictaphone away from your colleagues because of the motives I gave.
Judge Mangan to Inspector Kennedy : Do you have further witnesses or evidence in relation to the dictaphone.
IK: No.
Mr. Cregan : I have a witness, Mr. Owen Rice.
Judge Mangan: Its now 1.30, I will adjourn until 2.30
At this stage Mr. Rice, asked the judge to clarify where he stood in regards to the bench warrant served on Mr. Rice on the court steps that morning.
Det. Joe OBrien gave evidence of serving a warrant at the court house on foot of an order made by Judge Mangan on May 6th.
Mr. Rice to the judge : On the last occasion that I appeared, in April, there was a ...slight inconvenience where I was dragged out of court on your orders, by the Garda Siochana while making legal submission. While that was happening, apparently someone fixed the date in May.
Judge: You wrote to the court service about this?
Mr. Rice: Yes, I wrote the next day and I asked for a copy of ALL orders made by you on that occasion to be given to me. I received a reply on May 12th, so I cannot be held responsible for not being in court on May 6th as I was under the impression that I did not have to appear until July 21st.
The judge cancelled the bench warrant and adjourned for lunch until 2.35
Court, resumed at 2:44 and Mr. Rice took the stand as a witness.
Mr. Cregan: Whats this [holds dictaphone aloft]
Mr. Rice: That is my dictaphone.
Mr. Cregan: On the night of 7th December 2003, this dictaphone was taken from my person in the car park in front of the Shannon Knights. Where did it come from.
Mr. Rice: I had it in my pocket. On the occassion I was being arrested by Mr. OBrien, there in the suit [points at Det Sgt OBrien] leaning against a car, you got your pen out to take notes. I had pressed record on the dictaphone, verified the tape was rolling and saw the red record light was on. As I was arrested, I handed it to you and said, there you go Con Mister. Fahy was talking to someone on the radio or telephone. I then had my hands held behind me.
Mr. Cregan: Det Fahy says that the dictaphone was pushed into his face.
Mr. Rice: That is an absolute fabrication and an outright lie.
Mr. Cregan: How was he not in position for this to happen?
Mr. Rice: At that time, he wasnt in a position for this to happen, he was mostly inside the car. Mr. Cregan held the dicataphone to my shoulder level [indicates] ...with Mr. OBrien behind me.
Mr. Cregan: Is it true that Det. Fahy came up behind me?
Mr. Rice: [indicates positions] the care was here...with me against it, and you at about, oh, 30 angle like so...Mr. Fahy would have been on your blind side. When he saw you were recording questions to Mr. OBrien, he was all over you like a cat to take it off you.
Mr. Cregan: Were you with me in the cell?
Mr. Rice : No. I was awaiting a doctor because of injuries sustained during this allegedly lawful arrest. I was put in a downstairs office, with the door open to the corridor. Garda Daly there [indicates] was at the door watching me. I could see the corridor.
Mr. Cregan: Was Det Fahy with you?
Mr. Rice: In the car, yes. When I was brought to the station, Mr. Daly was with me, while Mr. Daly booked me in, and Mr. OBrien spoke to me. You were moved to a cell, and I was moved to the office. There were long periods of time when Det. Fahy was not visible to me.
Mr. Cregan: Was det Sgt OBrien visible to you?
Mr. Rice: Yes, most of the time, but in relation to Mr. Fahy, I hardly saw him. Mr. OBrien was at the scene of my release, but not Fahy. I was released under protest as I had not received medical attention and the member-in charge Brigid Comerford, refused to verify the whereabouts of my dictaphone.
Mr. Cregan: Thank you. Please answer the questions of Mr. Kennedy
Insp Kennedy: Why did you ask the member in charge about the dictaphone?
Mr. Rice: I knew it was the reason Mr. Cregan had been arrested.
Insp K.: You are now trying to say you knew Det Fahy had taken it.
Mr. Rice: I saw him snatch it in the car park.
Insp K.: [becoming very animated] you gave a very specific story regarding the taking of it. Yet you dont seem specific in your question to Garda Comerford. You werent sure who had it.
Mr. Rice: I knew well he had it. Thats _why_ I asked her to verify its location and she would do no such thing.
Insp K.: I dont believe your testimony
Mr. Rice: What part?
Insp K.: All of it
Mr. Rice: Can you be more specific? What bit do you say is not true?
Insp K.: [getting animated again] All of it. I accept none of it. I dont believe any of it. I dont believe that you recall it so vividly and give this quality of testimony.
Mr. Rice: [dead calm and slow] You have no basis for that statement. You have no way of knowing how well I can recall things, or what quality of testimony I am capable of . however,.. if you wish to test it. Test away.
Insp K.: You were offered a doctor or medical assistance.
Mr. Rice: I specifically asked the Member-in-Charge for it.
Insp K.: And?
Mr. Rice: She telephoned and she said he was on his way.
Insp K.: Do you recall being released.
Mr. Rice: Yes.
Insp K.: Do you recall that the member-in-charge asked you if you wanted to wait for an ambulance.
Mr. Rice: No, because it never happened.
Mr. Cregan [to Judge Mangan] : What relevance is this?
Judge Mangan [to Kennedy]: What relevance is this to the dictaphone?
Insp K: ,Ah, none.
Judge Mangan : Skip it.
Insp K.: You heard Det. Fahys evidence regarding how he had possession of the dictaphone, testimony given under oath.
Mr. Rice: You and I both know that it wouldnt be the first time that a member of the Garda Siochana had perjured himself.
Judge Mangan [to Mr. Rice] : Confine yourself to this case.
Mr Cregan [to Judge] : Mr. Rice cannot give evidence as to whether Det.Fahy forgot or not.
Mr. Rice [to Insp Kennedy]: Are you asking me to rate the credibility of Mr. Fahys testimony?
Insp K.: Im challenging your story. In relation to Det. Fahy, you said he made himself scarce.
Mr. Rice: From my view.Aye.
Insp K.: He said that he went upstairs to the canteen. You were downstairs, so it has no bearing if he was absent.
Mr. Rice: When I made the member-in-charge aware that Mr. Fahy had the dictaphone, Mr. Fahy was not brought down.
Insp K.: You didnt know that Det Fahy had it.
Mr. Rice: Of course I knew he had it. Thats why I asked the member in charge to verify its location, but she did not.
Insp K.: Did you see him take it. You didnt say that earlier in your testimony.
Mr. Rice: Yes I did. I said I saw him spring all over Mr. Cregan like a cat to snatch it away from him.
Insp K.: Thats all.
At this stage Mr. Cregan asked for Det Fahy to be recalled. The time was now 3.10pm.
Mr. Cregan: Detective Fahy, is this your statement? [copies handed over]
Det. Fahy: Yes Judge
Mr. Cregan: So, if I can direct you to the 3rd sentence on page 2, can you read that sentence, down to the 5th sentence below?
Det. Fahy: [reads] At this stage, Conor Cregan came to assist Owen Rice, and I told him not to interfere, and to move away or he would also be arrested. Conor Cregan continued to interfere, and he was trying to break my grip on Owen Rice at the same time, he was holding a dictaphone up to my face. Cregan was shouting fuck off and leave him alone ye bastards I took the dictaphone from Conor Cregan and I arrested him for an offence under section 6 of the Public Order Act "
Mr. Cregan: So. Fuck off and leave him alone ye bastards And trying to break your grip on Mr. Rice, and at the same time holding a dictaphone to your face? Hmm.. your statement says holding a dictaphone and today your testimony is that it was PUSHED into your face. Which is it.
Det. Fahy: It was IN my face.
Mr. Cregan: So this statement is worthless is it?
Det. Fahy: No.
Mr. Cregan: the story you tell on the stand is not the story in your written statement. Is this statement true?
Det. Fahy: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: So, Fuck off and leave him alone ye bastards ye. Thats your statement?
Det. Fahy: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: So, that would have been recorded on the dictaphone if those words had been spoken.
Det. Fahy: Yes, if it was working.
Mr. Cregan: But if they werent on it. That would have been evidence against you of perjury.
Det. Fahy: Would be, if it had been working.
[at this stage, Mr./ Conor requested a short recess, which the judge said he would grant he was amenable to many breaks during the day, and informed the court, that as the ar conditioning had broken down, that we may dispense with our coats. But he also asked if Mr Cregan would like to take the stand so that the judge could ask him some questions in relation to the dictaphone issue. He didnt explain what the purpose of this unusual request was, and Mr Cregan declined it.
Mr. Cregan: Judge, I believe that it has been proven here, that I was only arrested to get the dictaphone. Inspector Kennedy has not contested that. I ask you to direct a dismissal of this charge. If not, I would ask that you grant the costs of recovery of the data from the tape, to establish my innocence and Det Fahys guilt of perjury. If not, I would ask that you would state a case to the Supreme Court under section 16 of the Courts of Justice Act 1947 for the opinion of the Supreme Court on the question of the recovery of this taped evidence.
Judge : I will reserve my position until I have heard the remaining evidence.
So, having aired the preliminary issue of the dictaphone and the tape, the prosecution began to set out the case for the actual charge under S. 6 [the time was now 3.34pm]
Inspector Kennedy called Det. Fahy to the stand,a nd he was re-sworn. The detective gave evidence on being on duty on Dec 7th, in an unmarked car accompanied by Det Sgt Joe OBrien,
Inspector Kennedy: What were you doing?
Det Fahy: a mobile patrol in the car park. A car pulled out, with no lights on. Mr Rice jumped out, took a photo of me and Det. OBrien I was still in the drivers side of the car. I could see Owen Rice becoming aggressive so I got out of the car and went to the front of the car. At that stage Dt. Sgt OBrien was showing his official I.D. to Owen Rice. D.Sgt OBrien asked Owen Rice to leave in an orderly fashion. Mr.Rice then became aggressive and was arrested.
Judge : Do the charges relating to Owen Rice, relate to the same date?
Insp. Kennedy: four charges do.
Judge: Does Mr. Rice object to a simoultaneous trial?
Mr. Rice: Yes, judge, I do [see later reference to Supreme Court motions]
Judge : Okay.
Insp. Kennedy: Mr. Rice is not on trial here today. Please confine yourself in chief to the behaviour of Mr. Cregan
Det. Fahy: [inaudible answer]
Mr. Cregan: Could you speak up please detective.
Det. Fahy: Mr. Cregan tried to break my grip on Mr. Rice and held a dictaphone to my face. I then arrested him under s.6 of the Criminal Justice (Public Order Act) 1994
Insp. Kennedy: At what time did this occur?
Det. Fahy: 1.15 am
Insp. Kennedy: Were there people around?
Det. Fahy: there were people around Supermacs and the Shannon Knights pub
Insp. Kennedy: Where did Mr. Cregan come from?
Det. Fahy: From the passenger side of the car.
Insp. Kennedy: Tell the court about Mr. Cregans behaviour.
Det. Fahy: Mr. Cregan didnt become aggressive until Mr. Rice was arrested. He said fuck off ye bastards and he tried to break my grip on Mr. Rice I took him to the Garda station.
Insp. Kennedy: did you need help?
Det. Fahy: No. In fairness, he was not aggressive after that. I explained his arrest to the Member-in-Charge. Searched him,
Insp. Kennedy: what did you recover?
Det. Fahy: I recovered items of property which I placed on the table.
Insp. Kennedy: Please answer the questions of Mr. Cregan [time now 3.42pm]
Mr. Cregan: Garda Fahy, this again is your statement [holds aloft the statement]. You say it is true?
Det. Fahy: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: Is it a false statement?
Det. Fahy: No
Mr. Cregan: Is it a full statement?
Det. Fahy: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: you say Mr. Cregan came to assist Mr. Rice. How? Was it moral support?
Det. Fahy: He was pulling on my arm.
Mr. Cregan: Which arm? How?
Det. Fahy: I was holding Mr Rice, ah, and he gripped my arm and said
Mr. Cregan: Sorry Garda Fahy, would you answer the question, or would you raise whichever arm it is you say that I grabbed.
Det. Fahy: it was the right one.
Mr. Cregan: Owen Rice already testified that you were standing to the right of him. [indicates positions] How could I reach your right arm?
Det. Fahy: I dont agree
Mr. Cregan: [reads from statement] I told him not to interfere, and to move away or he would also be arrested. Conor Cregan continued to interfere, and he was trying to break my grip on Owen Rice at the same time, he was holding a dictaphone up to my face. Cregan was shouting fuck off and leave him alone ye bastards Is it your testimony that you said that
Det. Fahy: I told Mr. Cregan not to interfere.
Mr. Cregan: I say that you never said that, because I was not interfering with the arrest. Now, you also say that Mr. Cregan shouting fuck off and leave him alone ye bastards and you arrested him. Do you have any witness to this?
Det. Fahy: Yes. Det Sgt. Joe OBrien
Mr. Cregan: Any other witnesses? Any members of the public?
Det. Fahy: No
Mr. Cregan: Because no one else heard it. BECAUSE I NEVER SAID IT !!
Judge: theres no need to shout. Dont get emotional
Mr.Cregan: Sorry Judge. Det Fahy. You allege that I said fuck off and leave him alone ye bastards. Sure youve had that said to you before. Would it be correct to say that you dont arrest everyone who says this to you.
Det. Fahy: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: I tell you that I didnt say that, and that you have no independent witnesses. Did you look for any witnesses?
Det. Fahy: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: Who?
Det. Fahy: The bouncer at the Knights
Mr. Cregan: Whats his name? Why isnt he here? Why isnt his name in your statement or notebook?
Det. Fahy: Forgot to note it.
Mr. Cregan: Wouldnt it be proper procedure to write down his name?
Det. Fahy: He didnt say anything
Mr. Cregan: He didnt say anything. Where was he standing? How close?
Det. Fahy: about from here to that door [points to door about 30ft away]
Mr. Cregan: Id say half that distance. If I had shouted, he would have heard it. I shouted a little earlier in court, and you all heard it. Sorry if it upset you judge
Judge : I heard it.
Det. Fahy: [answer not heard]
Mr. Cregan: No-one from the general public was intimidated, upset by this shouting or felt abused?
Det. Fahy: No judge
Mr. Cregan: Assaulted?
Det. Fahy: No
Mr. Cregan: Did you seek to see if anyone thought my behaviour was reckless?
Det. Fahy: No.
Mr. Cregan: did anyone come forward afterwards to say such things?
Det. Fahy: No.
Mr. Cregan: because I wasnt causing a breach of the peace on Dec 7th 2003.
Det. Fahy: Not true.
Mr. Cregan: So, you say, so you would have this court believe. Why should the court take the word of a detective who doesnt give in all the evidence or seek witnesses?
Det. Fahy: matter for the court
Mr. Cregan: What was the charge?
Det. Fahy: s.6 threatening, abusive language
Mr. Cregan: Is there not also a charge of interefering, and of not taking the direction of a garda? Why were these charges not made.
Det. Fahy: I would have had to tell Mr Cregan there were penalties involved.
Mr. Cregan: Because section 6 is a catch all, a Saturday night charge, and it was convenient to arrest me on this because there was no crime. What hand did I have up that I was trying to grab you, break your grip with?
Det. Fahy: the right one.
Mr. Cregan: Was the dictaphone not in my right hand?
Det. Fahy: No
Mr. Cregan: didnt I have a book in my left hand? [holds up large red book]
And the dictaphone in my right hand [holds dictaphone] my hands were full.
Didnt you snatch the dictaphone from my right hand?
Det. Fahy: [inaudible]
Mr. Cregan: I was conveyed to the Garda Station. How many were in that car.
Det. Fahy: [inaudible]
Mr. Cregan: If I was aggressive, trying to free Mr. Rice, would I not be aggressive to free myself? ...[no answer] Havent I an independent mind?
Det. Fahy: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: Did you take the book off of me?
Det. Fahy: No.
Mr. Cregan: did you copy anything from this book?
Det. Fahy: I dont recall any book.
Mr. Cregan: So what happened to the book in custody? To all my property?
Det. Fahy: Given to member in charge
Mr. Cregan: thats not true is it?
Det. Fahy: Apart from the dictaphone
Mr. Cregan: And at any stage did the Member-in- Charge, Brigid Comerford ask for the dictaphone?
Det. Fahy: I dont recall that.
Mr. Cregan: did you give her the book?
Det. Fahy: No. I dont recall there being any book
Mr. Cregan: Theres no record of the book in the custody record
Det. Fahy: correct.
Mr. Cregan: No mention of a red book.
Det. Fahy: thats right.
Mr. Cregan: Why is this not in the custody record? First of all, it was all my property except the dictaphone, and now another item, this large red book.
Det. Fahy: I have no recollection of any book.
Mr. Cregan: Ah, youre beat. Youre beat. Its mentioned in another Garda statement that I was writing in a book. What happened the property
Det. Fahy: You were searched and your property was put before the member-in-charge who logs it.
Mr. Cregan: so you do have procedures then.
Det. Fahy: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: So you failed to put the book before the member in charge. You signed the statement, and you say it is a true statement.
Det. Fahy: Yes
Mr. Cregan: If its not true, that would be perjury, yes?
Det. Fahy: A deliberate lie, yes.
Mr. Cregan: And you could and should be prosecuted for it yes?
Det. Fahy: Yes.
Mr. Cregan:
[It is now 4.05pm and the judge orders a recess, returning at 4.19 having made further inquiries regarding the air conditioning system.]
Inspector Kennedy calls Det. Sgt Joe OBrien of Abbey Street Garda Station, Ennis to the stand. He gave evidence of being on duty on 7th Dec 2005 in the same car as Det Garda Jarlath Fahy
Insp K: You principally dealt with Mr. Rice, but his case is not on here today, so in relation to Mr. Cregan, what can you tell us.
DS. JOB : I was arresting Mr. Rice. I was behind him. Mr. Cregan came between Owen Rice and Det Fahy to interfere. He used some abusive language, I dont recall the word,s and I havent noted them. He was arrested
Insp K: What was his demeanour?
DS. JOB : Agitated. He didnt want us to take Owen Rice.
Insp K: Was there activity, were there people in the area?
DS. JOB :There was a fair amount of people in the car park
Insp K: And at the Garda Station, tell us what happened in relation to Mr. Cregan
DS. JOB : I had no dealings with him really. Det Fahy was dealing with him.
Insp K: What was the length of time in the car park?
DS. JOB : A few minutes.
Insp K: And Det Garda Fahy?
DS. JOB : He radioed for assistance. He helped me put Owen Rice in the car. Mr. Cregan used abusive language. I dont recall them.
Insp K: please answer the questions of Mr. Cregan. [now 16.24pm]
Mr. Cregan : You heard Det Fahys testimony?
DS. JOB : Yes
Mr. Cregan : Do you agree with it
DS. JOB : Yes.
Mr. Cregan : Do you agree that if he perjured himself he should be prosecuted?
DS. JOB : Yes.
[at this point the judge had another 2minute recess, but we didnt quite hear why]
Mr. Cregan : So, you agree with Det Fahy saying that he should be prosecuted if his testimony is perjurous?
Judge : Thats a question of law. The witness is here to address the facts.
Mr. Cregan : [holds aloft another statement and gives copies] Is this your statement?
DS. JOB : Yes.
Mr. Cregan : Is is a true statement?
DS. JOB : Yes
Mr. Cregan : When did you write it?
DS. JOB : Should be on statement
Mr. Cregan : Says Sunday 8th. What time?
DS. JOB : Dont recall
Mr. Cregan : the next day. Do you know Shannon town well
DS. JOB : Reasonably well
Mr. Cregan : Where is the Shannon Knights pub?
DS. JOB : Its in the centre of Shannon.
Mr. Cregan : What was Mr. Cregan arrested for?
DS. JOB : Section 6, standard arrest.
Mr. Cregan : Standard arrest...usually used on Saturday nights for drunken brawling etc.
DS. JOB : Im in plain clothes, I usually dont get involved in public order cases.
Mr. Cregan : But youre familiar with the Public Order Act?
DS. JOB : Yes.
Mr. Cregan : Why did you say Mr. Cregan didnt want the Garda Siochana to take Owen Rice
DS. JOB : because you came in the same car, because hes your friend.
Mr. Cregan : Is it possible that I didnt want him arrested because I believed that the arrest was unlawful?
DS. JOB : I believe it was lawful
Mr. Cregan : thats not what I asked you. Is it possible that Mr. Cregan didnt want MR. Rice arrested because Mr. Cregan believed that the arrest was unlawful?
DS. JOB : Its a possible reason
Mr. Cregan : I put it to you that I didnt try to stop the arrest. I took out my book [holds book] to write notes, Owen Rice then gave me a dictaphone to record the arrest. I put it to you thats why I was there
DS. JOB : No, you tried to break Det Fahys grip.
Mr. Cregan : Whats this [holding book in left hand]
DS. JOB : A book
Mr. Cregan : For?
DS JOB: writing in
Mr. Cregan : Whats this [holding dictaphone in right hand]
DS JOB: A dictaphone
Mr. Cregan : For?
DS JOB: recording.
Mr. Cregan : Yes, thats right. So, when you were holding Mr. Rice, he gave me a dictaphone.
DS JOB: I dont recall that
Mr. Cregan : what was I doing with the dictaphone?
DS JOB: Holding it close to Det Garda Fahys face
Mr. Cregan : In his mouth?
DS JOB: I was busy with Mr.Rice
Mr. Cregan : You were holding Mr. Rice when Det Fahy radioed for help. You say I tried to break his grip. Which hand did I use?
DS JOB: I dont know which hand. [exhange missed]
Mr. Cregan : We established that the Garda car was next to the Shannon Knights. Which side of the car were you in?
DS JOB: Left side
Mr. Cregan : Opposite to Det Fahy?
DS JOB: Yes, he came out to assist. The patrol car came on the scene then Mr. Cregan came out.
Mr. Cregan : Your statement is that I approached you while Det Fahy was on the radio.
DS JOB: No, Det Fahy was out by then.
Mr. Cregan : Cmon...how fast is he? Is he flash gordon? Is he superman, is the that fast? [no answer given] Mr. Cregan : How could Mr. Cregan prevent you from putting Mr.Rice in the car?
DS JOB: I was holding onto Mr.Rice for dear life.
Mr. Cregan : youd given up and were waiting for back up.
Mr. Cregan : Owen Rice had kicked the back door closed. Why didnt Det Fahy open the door for you again? ...[no answer] ...I had a book and a dictaphone.
DS JOB: I never saw the book.
Mr. Cregan : I had my hands full [holds book and dictaphone in either hand]
Mr. Cregan : Did Mr. Cregan speak to you?
DS JOB: I have no note of that
Mr. Cregan : Why not?
DS JOB: I was dealing with Mr. Rice
Mr. Cregan : In your NOTES you mention my arrest, why dont you mention my alleged abusive language?
DS JOB: Didnt record it at the time.
Mr. Cregan : Because it didnt happen. Your statement says Fuck off ye bastards and let my friend go, but these words are not in your notebook. Isnt that correct? Is that in your notes
DS JOB: I dont have it noted in my notebook
Mr. Cregan : Because it didnt happen. Did you write your notes with Det Fahy
Mr. Cregan : Did you write your statement with Det Fahy?
DS JOB: No. I dont know when Det Fahy made his notes.
Mr. Cregan : Didnt I ask you for your name
DS JOB: I dont recall
Mr. Cregan : This tape, if we recover the audio data, has me asking 3 times for your name
DS JOB: I showed my official ID
Mr. Cregan : Youre a higher rank thank your colleague Det Fahy
DS JOB: Yes. Im a Det Sgt, a higher rank.
Mr. Cregan : Are you not disappointed that your underling did not enter evidence into the custody record?
DS JOB: I accept that correct procedure would be
Mr. Cregan : Not what I asked
DS JOB: I accept that correct proc
Mr. Cregan : Thats not what I asked you Det Sgt.
DS JOB: Im disappointed that he didnt think to enter it .
Mr. Cregan : Can you tell me the name of the bouncer?
DS JOB: No. I didnt go near the bouncer.I went to Supermacs seeking footage from their CCTV.
Mr. Cregan : Who did you speak to there
DS JOB: A polish girl I think, I didnt get a name. Theres no CCTV at Supermacs showing the outside
Mr. Cregan : There is a CCTV camera at Supermacs showing the car park
DS JOB: Not showing the car park.
Mr. Cregan : did you see it?
Mr. Cregan : but youve no written record?
Mr. Cregan : Where was Mr. Rices car?
DS JOB: Near the Knights pub
Mr. Cregan : Not outside supermacs?
DS JOB: The CCTV shows the area around the outside of the door.
Mr. Cregan : Ive seen that camera, it points out. It shows loads. It might show peoples heads turning towards the car park, show who was around. Why was this CCTV not provided?
DS JOB: Didnt show the car park. Contained no evidence
Mr. Cregan : Isnt it for the court to decide the evidence?
DS JOB: Its for us to collec evidence and bring it to the court.
Mr. Cregan : Did you mention it to the DPP?
Mr. Cregan : Why not?
DS JOB: Its a summary matter
Mr. Cregan : What does that mean, a summary matter?
DS JOB:Eh, theres people here better qualified to explain that than me
Judge : hes saying he deemed it to be a relatively minor case.
Mr. Cregan : So when you were collecting evidence, what did you collect?
DS JOB: Statements from the members of an Garda Siochana who were involved.
Mr. Cregan : Did you collect statements from the public?
Mr. Cregan : Did you ever notice this sign in Shannon [holds up a sign that reads something like Did you witness an incident in the Shannon Knights car park on 7/12/03 at ...o clock. Please contact Conor Cregan at ... Or Owen Rice
DS JOB: Im not based in Shannon.
Mr. Cregan : Why were you there that night then?
DS JOB: I was on duty for an Anti-War protest
Mr. Cregan : When did your shift start?
DS JOB: at 2pm
Mr. Cregan : and you were still on duty at 1.10am?
DS JOB: It was a long shift
Mr. Cregan : What time did you go to supermacs?
DS JOB: I dont recall
Mr. Cregan : and you didnt note it. Why? Were you very tired?
Mr. Cregan : Irritable
Mr. Cregan : What was your demeanour or mood?
DS JOB: I dont recall
Mr. Cregan : I do. Did you go to Supermacs after work?
DS JOB: Dont recall
Mr. Cregan : at 3am? 4am?
DS JOB: Dont recall
Mr. Cregan : What time does Supermacs shut?
DS JOB: I dont know
Mr. Cregan : I brought witnesses. I put up this sign [holds up sign again] why didnt you seek statements from members of the public?
DS JOB: [not heard]
Mr. Cregan : I say you didnt seek public witnesses because you didnt want them contradicting your statement.
DS JOB: No. the statement is true.
Mr. Cregan : The public would have contradicted your statement and shown perjury. No one came forward and said theyd felt intimidated, or saw reckless behaviour. Isnt that right?
DS JOB: Right.
Mr. Cregan : Because I was not abusive or insulting and I was merely there with this book [holds up book] and this dicataphone [holds up dictaphone in other hand] to record the arrest.
[witness is dismissed. It is now 5.02pm]
The next witness was Sgt Mike Harran He gave details of being on duty on the night in question with Garda Daly and Garda Culliton. He said that they received a call from Charlie Five Eight the car of Detective Sgt OBrien and Det Fahy, who radioed that they needed assistance with a prisoner.
Sgt Harran said that he saw two members struggling with Mr. Cregan and another man, whom they were trying to get into a car. He said he saw a struggle between four people but couldnt say who was struggling with whom.
Insp K: did you come back to the Garda Station with Mr.Cregan?
Sgt Harran: No.
Insp. K. : Did you see him later
Sgt Harran : In the public office of the Garda Station. I heard some information about a dispute regarding property, but I wasnt told anything about it.
Insp. K : Please answer the questions of Mr. Cregan [it is 17:05]
Mr. Cregan : Are you stationed in Ennis?
Sgt Harran : Yes
Mr. Cregan : Do you know D.Sgt OBrien and D.Garda Fahy?
Sgt Harran : Yes
Mr. Cregan : did you make or see their statements, or moke notes with them?
Sgt Harran : No. I made my notes by myself.
Mr. Cregan : Is this your statement
Sgt Harran : yes
Mr. Cregan : [reads] On arrival I saw D.Sgt Joe OBrien and Detective Garda Fahy struggle with Owen Rice and Conor Cregan . How were they struggling?
Sgt Harran : Trying to hold on to them
Mr. Cregan : D. sgt OBrien said he was holding Mr. Rice
Sgt Harran : I cant say who was holding who.
Mr. Cregan : Who was holding Mr. Cregan?
Sgt Harran :I cant say who was struggling with whom. Garda Culliton went to D.Sgt OBrien, I went to Det Fahy
Mr. Cregan : how long did it take you to get there?
Sgt Harran : We arrived at 1.15. It took 2 minutes to get to the scene.
Mr. Cregan : Where were you sitting?
Sgt Harran : In the back of the patrol car
Mr. Cregan : by what entrance did you come into the car park?
Sgt Harran : by the side beside the Knights
Mr. Cregan : So, the two men sitting in front had a better view.
Sgt Harran : probably
Mr. Cregan :and the time between the radio call and arrival was less than 2 minutes
Sgt Harran : Yes.
Mr. Cregan : and the time to get out of the car?
Sgt Harran : I dont time myself getting out of cars, a few seconds to get out and get over to the scene.
Mr. Cregan : and in these seconds you saw Owen Rice, Conor Cregan, Det. Sgt Joe OBrien, and Det. Fahy?
Sgt Harran : Yes
Mr. Cregan : Then you saw Owen ice running towards his car and get into his car?
Sgt Harran : Yes
Mr. Cregan : did you see other people?
Sgt Harran : Yes.
Mr. Cregan : Did they make complaints?
Sgt Harran : Not to me.
Mr. Cregan : did you interview them?
Sgt Harran : No
Mr. Cregan : So, driving at high speed to respond to this minor incident, you
Sgt Harran : I wasnt driving.
Mr. Cregan : I put it to you that there are things in your statement that are not true
Sgt Harran : its true
Mr. Cregan : I didnt struggle. I had a book in one hand and a dictaphone in the other [holds both] Was I struggling?
Sgt Harran : yes
Mr. Cregan : No. Was I arrested at this stage?
Sgt Harran : [not heard]
Mr. Cregan : Because, Det. Fahy said that when I was arrested, I had all of a sudden stopped struggling. I put it to you thatyou didnt arrive until Mr. Rice was in the car, and I was arrested standing up.
[Its now 5.15] Garda Culliton is called and sworn. He was based in Shannon at the time, but has since been transferred.
Insp K. : You were on duty on the 7/12/2003 with Garda Harran and Garda Daly. What did you see, principally in relation to Mr. Cregan?
Garda Culltn: He had been arrested by D.G Fahy as we arrived. I didnt see him offer any resistance.
Insp K. : And on the way to the Garda Station?
Garda Culltn: I sat beside him. He didnt say much
Insp K: Please answer the questions of Mr. Cregan [its now 7.17]
Mr. Cregan: You say you didnt see me offer resistance.
Garda Culltn: No.
Mr. Cregan: Where in the patrol car were you sitting when you arrived?
Garda Culltn: Front passenger.
Mr. Cregan: . So you would have had a better view than Garda Harran in the back
Garda Culltn: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: . did you talk to me
Garda Culltn: No
Mr. Cregan: . Why was there no verbal contact?
Garda Culltn: As I recall you were writing in a book as we were going the station.
Judge [to Mr. Cregan] : Its a matter for you to decide, but this witness has not incriminated you, you dont need to pursue this line, if it may incriminate you.
Mr. Cregan: . Thats okay Judge. You say there was no struggling.
Garda Culltn: correct
Mr. Cregan: .Where did you first encounter Mr. Cregan?
Garda Culltn: In the car park after he had been arrested, standing with Det Fahy.
Mr. Cregan: .And my demeanour?
Garda Culltn: You were quiet.
Mr. Cregan: Thank you Garda [ Time is 5.20pm]
Inps Kennedy then called Garda Daly to the stand. He testified that he was on duty with Sgt. Harran and Garda Culliton on the night in question.
Insp K. : Can you tell us, in relation to Mr. Cregan, what you observed?
Garda Daly: I drove the garda patrol car to the scene, I saw Mr. Cregan was under arrest, as I saw it, satanding with Det. Fahy. When I was satisfied that Det. Fahy didnt need assistance, I went to assist with Det. Sgt OBrien with Mr. Rice.
Insp K. : And Mr. Cregan?
Garda Daly: I saw no resistance from him. He was placed in our car with Garda Culliton. I didnt see much of him on the way to the station, as I was driving and couldnt look back, but I knew he was in the car.
Insp K. : Did you see any book?
Garda Daly: No.
Insp K: Please answer the questions of Mr. Cregan [ 5.21pm]
Mr. Cregan: You were stationed at Shannon at the time?
Garda Daly: Yes.
Mr. Cregan : Youve since been transferred?
Garda Daly : Yes. [stands down]
Inspector Kennedy calls Garda Brigid Comerford to the stand at 5.22pm . She confirmed that she was on duty in Shannon Garda station as the member-in-charge on the night in question.
Insp K : Will you tell the court what happened?
Gda Cford: I was informed by Det. Fahy that he had arrested the prisoner under section 6 of the public order act.
Insp K : You completed the custody record?
Gda Cford: Yes, I completed it.
Insp K : What happened?
Gda Cford: The prisoner arrived at 1.19 am with Det Fahy. Det Fahy asked him his name, date of birth and address. Det Fahy informed me of the charge, the time and location of the arrest. I asked Mr. Cregan if he wanted to contact a solicitor. He gave the number of a Shannon legal support.

author by court reporterpublication date Sat Jul 23, 2005 14:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Insp K : In relation to property, entries were made in the custody record.
Gda Cford: Yes.
Insp K : Was there any mention of a red book?
Gda Cford: There was no mention of a red book.
Insp K : Was there a mention of a dictaphone?
Gda Cford: There was no mention made of a dictaphone on 7th Dec 2003.
Insp K : Regardign the relase from custody, at what stage did the dictaphone come into it?
Gda Cford: It was not mentioned.
Insp K : please answer Mr. Cregans questions. [5.25pm]
Mr. Cregan: Garda Comerford, In your statement, you say that at 1.19am Det Fahy arrived with the prisoner.
Gda Cford: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: Who brought the prisoner to the station?
Gda Cford: I dont know, but Det Fahy was in the station.
Mr. Cregan: So it wasnt Det Fahy who brought me to the station.
Gda Cford: [reply missed]
Mr. Cregan: But you were in the office when Mr. Cregan arrived.
Gda Cford: So was Det. Fahy.
Mr. Cregan: But Det. Fahy didnt travel with me.
Gda Cford: Det. Fahy introduced the prisoner to me.
Mr. Cregan: The prisoner had already been in the station some minutes, did you see the prisoner. Did you ignore the prisoner?
Gda Cford: No
Mr. Cregan: Did you speak to the prisoner?
Gda Cford: Yes
Mr. Cregan: I put it to you that you did see me before Det Fahy introduced me to you.
Gda Cford: No
Mr. Cregan: But Det Fahy arrived later with Mr. Rice
Gda Cford: Both prisoners arrived at the same time.
Mr. Cregan: So you say. Det Fahy said that it was your responsibility to list the property of a detained person. Do you feel compromised that the dictaphone was not given to you?
Gda Cford: I had no knowledge of any dictaphone.
Mr. Cregan: And not to do this would be a breach of regulations?
Gda Cford: Yes. I would have listed all that I had been given.
Mr. Cregan: So it was a breach of the rules and regulations not to give it to you
Gda Cford: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: So it wasnt a good arrest
Gda Cford: I wasnt present at the arrest.
Mr. Cregan: Did you ask Detective Fahy if this was all the property?
Gda Cford: No
Mr. Cregan: Why not?
Gda Cford: I only noted what he told me.
Mr. Cregan: Would it not be prudent for you to ensure all the property was in the custody record.
Gda Cford: [ ]
Mr. Cregan: Is it not your job to make sure that the arresting officer has presented al the evidence and property for the record?
Gda Cford: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: Why didnt you do this? Why didnt you ask?
Gda Cford: Possibly I did.
Mr. Cregan: And if you possibly did, what did he say, if you jogged his memory?
Gda Cford: I dont recall
Mr. Cregan: Why is Mr.Cregan not mentioned in your notebook?
Gda Cford: I made a note of the other prisoner.
Mr. Cregan: Why did you not make a note of Mr. Cregan?
Gda Cford: I felt there was no need.
Mr. Cregan [to judge] : Judge, I ask that you dismiss this case on the grounds that no evidence has been provided of a breach of the peace, and no warning of an arrest. If I may read to you the ruling of Chief Justice Laffoy in the review of the case of the DPP v Galligan, 2nd November 1995. Justice Laffoy stated three necessary conditions for a charge of behaviour likely to lead to a breach of the peace. That there should be evidence that :
1- The accused was warned that his/her behaviour could lead to a breach of the peace
2- The accused be given the opportunity to desist from said behaviour
3- The accused was informed of the fact if the accused failed to comply with the direction of the Garda, he/she would be committing a criminal offence, and that charges and penalties would apply
Plus, we have quite a lot of conflicting evidence.
Judge : In what way conflicting?
Mr. Cregan : Det O Brien said I was trying to de-arrest Mr. Rice, and when Mr. Rice was de-arrested, I stopped. Sgt Harran says I was in a melee, but the two Shannon Gardai in the car with him saw no melee.
Judge : I hold that there is a case to answer. Well resume in 10 minutes. [5.38]
Court resumes at 6pm. Mr. Cregan calls Mr. Foley to the stand.
Mr. Cregan: Mr. Foley, would you please explain to the court, how on the night of 7th 12December 2003, you witnessed something.
Mr. Foley: About 1pm that night, I saw Mr. Cregan and another man. outside supermacs, I saw something happen.
Mr. Cregan: how far away were you?
Mr. Foley: less than 30 yds.
Mr. Cregan: What did you see?
Mr. Foley: I saw four people there.
Mr. Cregan: Did you see anyone taken away
Mr. Foley: Yes.
Mr. Cregan: did you hear anyone shouting Fuck off ye bastards?
Mr. Foley: No
Mr. Cregan: And you were close
Mr. Foley: Yes
Mr. Cregan: How many people took me.
Mr. Foley: One or two.
Mr. Cregan: thank you, please answer the questions of Inspector Kennedy. [6.03 pm]
Inspector Kennedy asks Mr. Foley his address, and it is given.
Insp K: . Do you know Mr. Cregan?
Mr. Foley: No.
Insp Kennedy: What did you see?
Mr. Foley: I saw Mr. Rice walking quickly to his car saying Idont know who these people are
Insp Kennedy: What else did you see?
Mr. Foley: I saw a dispute, I didnt see pulling or shouting.
Insp Kennedy: Did you see the Garda Siochana?
Mr. Foley: When the patrol car came, I realised that it was the Gardai involved.
Insp Kennedy: How did you come to be here today.
Mr. Foley: that night I stayed in a friends house in Shannon, and the next day I was walking to the shop and Owen Rice stopped me to ask where the shop was. I recognised him from the night before ans asked him about the incident.
Insp Kennedy: Wasnt that fortuitous?
Mr. Foley: What?
Insp Kennedy: When did you meet him?
Mr. Foley: About 10 am, the morning after.
Insp Kennedy: Wasnt it very fortuitous, that you did?
[Mr. Cregan objects to this but is over ruled]
Insp Kennedy : I say that you were not there at Supermacs.
Mr. Foley: I was there, I went to the disco with a number of friends.
Insp K: Thank you [ 6.05]
Mr. Cregan called Mr. Cunningham to the stand.
Mr. Cregan: I would ask you to tell the court if you were at the Shannon Knights car park on the 7/12/2003
Mr. Cunningham: Yes
Mr. Cregan: Did you see me there?
Mr. Cunningham:Yes.
Mr. Cregan: how did you come to be there?
Mr. Cunningham: I left the GAA club with my friends, heading to the Knights. I saw Mr. Cregan . I saw a car parked, and what appeared to be two men who had ambushed Mr. Cregan, at the side of a car. I didnt know they were Guards, so I asked Mr. Cregan are you okay? and one of the men came at me and told me to Fuck off and mind my own business and Fuck off. I now know that man to be...[looks around and sees Det. Fahy, now sitting right at the back corner of the court. ] Det Fahy, isnt that right? [Det Fahy acknowledges with a nod] he was actuall spitting angry, he was that angry. And it was only after that did he say he was a Garda.
Mr. Cregan: Its said at this stage that I was wrestling.
Mr. Cunningham: No.
Mr. Cregan: Did you see a row?
Mr. Cunningham: No. I heard Gardai shouting as you were leaning against the car.
Mr. Cregan: Please answer the questions of Insp. Kennedy
Insp Kennedy asks the witness for his address, which is given.
Insp. K: Do you know Mr. Cregan
Mr. Cunningham: I think we went to the same primary school...[to Conor] is that right? [to Insp K] I hadnt seen him in years though.
Insp. K: Your not an independent witness. Youre his friend.
Mr. Cunningham: Im not his friend. We went to the same primary school.
Insp. K: You said that Mr. Cregan was ambushed. Describe that.
Mr. Cunningham: It would probably be easier if I stood up to show you the positions. [stands and indicates as he talks] - Mr. Cregan was bent back, like this, with the garda, as I know now he was, pinning him to the car like this, kind of blocking him from moving.
Insp. K: So the Garda had your friend pinned?
Mr. Cregan: Judge, I object, this man did not say he was my friend, and Inspector Kennedy keeps saying that he is. Could he please stop trying to put words into the mouth of the witness.
Insp. K: Youve been here all day. Youve heard the testimony of Garda witnesses under oath. Your testimony contradicts theirs.
Mr. Cunningham: It seems to contradict some.
Insp. K: why does your testimony contradict the others?
Mr. Cunningham: Youll have to ask yourself that question. If some people are telling different stories. Someones lying. [ at the same time Mr. Cregan is objecting to the question]
Insp. K: You say you saw Mr. Cregan. Where was Mr. Rice?
Mr. Cunningham: I didnt see him
Insp. K: Is this the same incident were talking about here???
Mr. Cunningham: Yes
Insp. K: [becoming more animated] Did you see Owen Rice ??
Mr. Cunningham: No.
Insp. K: [still animated] Do you know Owen Rice ?!?
Mr. Cunningham: No. Ive never seen him before today.
Insp. K: You didnt?
Mr. Cunningham: I only saw Mr. Cregan, and two men who I now know to be Gardai,
one who I recognise today in court.
Insp. K: Why didnt you go to the Garda Station if you believed him to be in danger.
Mr. Cunningham: Perhaps I was naieve but I didnt think he would have been in danger in a Garda Station.
Insp. K: How did you come to be there.
Mr. Cunningham: I wasnt like I was there drinking all night. I finished my night shift at midnight, and had one drink in the GAA club and went to the Shannon Knights to meet my girlfriend. I have a clear memory of that angry garda.
Insp. K: You evidence differs from other evidence.
Mr. Cunningham: I can only say what I saw.
At 6.18 Mrs. Wheeler was called to the stand as a character witness. She gave evidence that she knew Mr. Cregan for about two and a half years, that she knew him primarily through her work as a peace activist, for which she would apologise
to nobody. She testified that she knew him well and that he had been a guest in
her house on many occassions, and that she had been with him on many occassions
at protests or planespotting, and on many of these occassions they had been stopped or questioned by members of an Garda Siochana, that Mr. Cregan had always shown restraint, and kept a cool and level head in situations like these, more so
than she could, in fact. She said that she had never seen him use abusive language to people, and would find it inconceivable that he would do so.
Mr. Crgena asked about if there were occasion when she had been in the company of Mr. Rice and Mr. Cregan when either Mr. Rice or Mr. Cregan had been arrested.
She said that she never saw Mr. Cregan being arrested, as she knew he didnt wish to be arrested and that the night in question was the only time she had heard
of him being arrested. She described an occasion when she was planespotting with Mr. Cregan, and they were approached by Gardai armed with Uzis, special branch who surrounded them, and told Conor to fuck off. Mrs. Wheeler says that Conor kept his cool on that occasion and dealt with it calmly.
She also described an occasion in Killarney when arrests were made, and that she was in Mr. Cregans company and he did not get arrested.
When asked if she had ever seen him lay a hand on a garda to interfere in an arrest, she said if anything he had on occasion calmed other people down in tense situations rather than lose his own head.
[Cross examined at 6.24]
Inspector Kennedy: Were you in Shannon on the night in question?
Mrs. Wheeler : No.
Insp Kennedy: Thank you.
There then followed a 25 minute recess.
The Judge returned at 6.50pm.

author by Crt reportpublication date Sat Jul 23, 2005 17:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Judge Mangan:I have listened to you all now for over four-and-a-half hours. You can listen to me now, without interruption for four and a hald minutes.
I have heard all the evidence and I find it strange that while two detectives testified that Mr. Cregan grabbed a Det by the arm, that he is not charged with interfering in the arrest, or with obstruction, but he is charged only with section 6. use of abusive or threatening language. In which case, it all seems to hanfg on a single sentence. The defence made a well established point, that this language, if used, was not made in earshot of the public. Only the 1st and 2nd gardThere is a total conflict between the evidence of Det. Sgt O’Brien and Det. Garda Fahy on one hand and Mr. Rice and Mr. Cregan on the other hand. The dictaphone tape would have resolved this issue.
It is unfortunate that the defence did not give evidence re the efficacy of the dictaphone in recording sound, but I can rely on my own knowledge of dictaphone.
In relation to the dictaphone, I note that, Det Fahy seized the dicataphone for no apparent reason, it is not a weapon. Det Fahy did not give the dictaphone to the member in charge. That the dictaphone is not listed in the custody record. In fact there are many holes in the states possession of this item.
On this ground, if on no other the charges are dismissed. .


Mr. Cregans friends refrained from clapping or cheering in court, as there was another issue before the court was adjourned.

At this stage Inspector Kennedy sought to fix a date for further proceedings against Mr. Rice.

The judge said that before that he would address mr Rice. He said that Mr. Rice was obviously aggrieved at having spent over a week in custody on the judges order, and that the High Court had later said that the order had not been correct, but that what was done, could not be undone. However, if Mr. Rice could be convicted, it would be open to him to ask the court to take that time in custody into consideration in sentencing. Mr Rice said he saw no comfort in that.
The judge also referred to 'some commotion in court' on a previous date in relation to Mr. Rice's McKenzie friend. the Judge said that he knew of no authority in this jurisdiction that grants the right to a McKenzie friend, a while he had no desire to restrict Mr. Rice's right to defend himself, he pointed out that the person acting as McKenzie friend on that occassion was someone that the judge had previously reprimanded in a sitting in Tulla.
the Judge then stated his intention to fix a date for a hearding regarding the 'garry doyle order' he said that if the state, does not provide to Mr. Rice all the evidence that it should, then the judge would adopt 'a certain attitude' when it comes to deciding whether to convict or dismiss the charges.

Mr. Rice insisted on replying to this.
Firstly, he quoted, for the information of the court,the legal authority which grants the right to use a "McKenzie friend" in court.
He also asked that the case be de-listed until such time as the Supreme court had ruled on certain aspects of it that had been appealed to that court.

the Judge seemed surprised, and asked Insp Kennedy "are there matters relating to this case before the Supreme Court?"

Insp Kennedy said that he knew nothing of this.

Mr. Rice said that he had served notice of this on a previous occassion, and handed up copies of legal documents, arguing that the case was stayed pending the outcome in the Supreme Court.

Insp Kennedy asked if this was the same charge. The Judge told him that of course it was, there was only one case of Mr. Rices in that district court, and that the judge was a named respondent on the first page of the supreme court documentation.

Judge Mangan then spoke to Owen Rice:

JM: these papers are dated 1st April 2004

OR: Is that significant?

JM. I thought the supreme court might have moved by now on this

OR: The Supreme Court moves at it's own speed judge. The latest that I have from the barrister involved is that it may be within 18 months.

Insp K: The cases before this court, I don't know how they connect to the supreme court.

JM: I've no wish to brind the accused back and forth regularly only to find that the Supreme court is still pending.

Insp K: Is it the same case

JM: I'm NAMED in the proceedings

OR: It's connected to each and every charge against me.

JM: Inspector, you should consult with your law officers.

IK: Perhaps if another Judge were to hear the case, that might cure it.

JM: If the superior courts disqualify me from hearing this case i will happily vacate it and let another judge hear it.
I fix a date of 13th October 2005, for mention only, in relation to the garry doyle order only, and in the meantime, please inform yourselves of the situation regarding the supreme court.

All left, the Gardai quietly, and the defendant and his friends to the front of the court house to cheer and take photographs.

author by archival sectionpublication date Sat Jul 23, 2005 18:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

(Reads Like a Myles Novel from Hell)

May 22 2004

March 1st 2004

Feb 24 2004

Feb 23 2004

Feb 18th 2004

Feb 17th 2004

Feb 13th 2004

Feb 13th 2004

Jan 18th 2004

Jan 17th 2004

Jan 17th 2004

December 12th 2003

December 11th 2003

Dec 8th 2003

The Why (Strictly My Guesses)

Conor- A Determined and Resourceful Shannon Planespotter
Eoin - Loud Pisstaking And Good At It Anti-War Protester with a Northern Accent and a Mobile Megaphone Device (his own invention / souped up with two small car batteries) Guaranteed to Outblast Any SWP Rally


October 13th 2003

March 28 2003 (subsequently an Indymedia Ireland instant one screening only film called 'a statement is a weapon in an empty hand' (titled in tribute to hope promotions)


Hope Promotions Radio Documentary

author by paulpublication date Sat Jul 23, 2005 20:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

just proves mangan is mad

author by Justin Morahan - Peace Peoplepublication date Sun Jul 24, 2005 14:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Irish lawmakers and enforcers down there hoist on their own petard?

author by Maxwell Roundhallpublication date Sun Jul 24, 2005 15:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Excellent work on the transcript by Court Reporter, you're assiduous, detailed and fast.

The official stenographer at the behest of the State was presumably meant to pick up any inconsistency in testimony with a view to further prosecutions, and it looks as if the DPP has indeed scooped up plenty of prima facie evidence of garda perjury and corruption in this case.

This shows what a highly intelligent and honourable fellow Insp. Kennedy really is - his having ordered the stenographer for this purpose demonstrates that he intends to purge the Augean Stables of An Garda Shtony, so perhaps we can look forward to him leading the prosecution against his perjuring collegues in the near future.

On this occassion Judge Mangan presents himself as a fine model of sobriety and delicately considered manners - his final verdict actually makes sense, is legally sound and promotes the interests of justice. A bold departure here - has he lost his mind, or just regained it? Perhaps his acute awareness of the stenographer's flying fingers hypnotised him somehow, temporarily taming the inner Tyrannosaurous Rex and allowing the Rumpole factor to shine forth?

Methinks if the defendant had any of the jellyfish who usually appear in that court representing him, as the State and Judge both tried to arrange, its highly likely he'd be wasting his time in Limerick Prison tonight, so I award him an extra pat on the back for being clever enough to have avoided that disgraceful bunch like the plague.

Finally, my most hearty congratulations to Mr. Cregan, who very properly beat the last whimper out of these lying dogs - Veritas Vincet - bravo!

author by Mary Kellypublication date Mon Jul 25, 2005 10:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Conor, I learnt loads watching you demolish the 2 detectives and Inspector Kennedy.
Fantastic work and congrats to your excellent McKenzie fiend and vigilant reporter for recording this new moment in the history of Irish antiwar movement = protestors winning their case against fowl agents doing the state's dirty work.
This case went on the day the news broke about Mc Dowell giving the CIA official full power to capture interrogate and torture anyone in this state ( 26 counties ).

Interesting to hear the conflicting evidence of the half decent younger Shannon gardai, who had to hide their mirth at some hilarious moments of pisstake on their superiors. Good for them to see justice being done.
An official legal team could not have done this work. All the more satisfying because its an Irish citizen "flying up to teach them manners"
Powerful statement by Fiona Wheeler from the witness box. This is just the beginning.

author by Court Reporterpublication date Mon Jul 25, 2005 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Actually, I forgot to include that the judge did refer to her testimony of Mr. Cregans tendencies in similar situations in his summing up. I don't recall the exact words though.

author by Michaelpublication date Mon Jul 25, 2005 16:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Greets to all from Paris! Brilliant read -- thanks a mil Court Reporter! Kicking myself black and blue for not being there to see it myself. Great work everyone involved!

Oh yeh... could someone post details of that CIA Ireland torture story? (Not the Ghost Plane)

author by Darraghpublication date Tue Jul 26, 2005 23:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair play to ye, and also thanks for the read!

author by Davidpublication date Wed Jul 27, 2005 14:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Does anyone know his first name?
I think I might know him, and now might be a good time to start asking hypothetical questions about what gardai are allowed to do with confiscated documents

author by readerpublication date Wed Jul 27, 2005 17:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

His first name is given at the start of the report, he's listed as "Det Garda Jarlath Fahy"

author by Darren C - SP (pc)publication date Wed Jul 27, 2005 19:26author address Back in Irelandauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Well done Conor. Nice one!

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