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Clare trials could be heard in Dublin due to Covid restrictions

A NUMBER of criminal trials due to be heard in Clare this year could be transferred to Dublin due to ongoing Covid-19 regulations, writes Ronan Judge.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Brian O’Callaghan said the court is not in a position to deal with trials that involve more than one accused person.

Judge O’Callaghan said the two metre rule will apply at Ennis Courthouse for trials that are due to commence at Ennis Circuit Court next month.

Judge O’Callaghan also told those required to attend trials to wrap up warm as windows and doors are due to be left open to allow for ventilation of the courthouse.

Judge O’Callaghan said this had not been an issue during the court’s summer sittings but the situation will be quite different in October, November and December.

“Please feel free to wear any warm clothing you wish.”

The judge was speaking on Wednesday at a call-over of cases at Ennis Circuit Court.

A number of trials have been listed to run for a five-week period at Ennis Courthouse, commencing on October 26.

All cases involving multiple accused persons were adjourned for mention to October 26.

Judge O’Callaghan said discussions have taken place and there is a “possibility” that such trials could be transferred to Dublin.

Judge O’Callaghan said, “They are creating a list in Dublin for these type of cases. At the moment, there is no possibility of them being dealt with here (Clare).

Criminal trials resumed at Ennis Courthouse in April in line with strict Covid regulations. Jurors were selected from a jury panel that assembled in Glor theatre in Ennis before being transported by bus to the courthouse.

Members did not sit together in the jury box but instead were spread out around the courtroom in accordance with social distancing.

Protective screens have been fitted throughout the courtroom and the numbers permitted to attend trials is limited.

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