Cáit Trainor of the Release Seamus Daly Campaign with an update from yesterday evening on his case.
A hearing to confirm the date and details for a preliminary Inquiry into the case against Seamus Daly was held today 16th February 2016, in Omagh Court house.
Since his incarceration every hearing has been heard by Judge Bernie Kelly, today in a departure from the norm it was heard by Judge Liam McNally.
The Inquiry was originally scheduled to run for five full days beginning on 22nd February; this has now been scaled down to 3 days and will begin on Wednesday 24th February and conclude on Friday 26th February 2016.
As expected the Prosecution made a number of applications, one of which included an application that witness Denis O’Connor could give evidence via video link. Denis O’Connor stated that he could not attend as he feels under threat; he has in the past attended both the civil case and a criminal case against another man. This application was rejected by Justice McNally who stated that there was no evidence to say that there was any threat on O’Connor from any individual or organisation and that it was more likely O’Connor’s hesitancy was fear of cross examination from the defence.
An application for 3 retired Gardaí to give evidence via video link was accepted, these three men will give evidence via video link from another court house not stated within the 6 counties. The reasoning behind this application is unknown, location is not a concern as these men are from the 26 counties and are prepared to travel a court house within the 6 counties, just not the court house the Inquiry will be heard in.
A number of applications will be considered at the end of next week’s proceedings, some of these outlandish applications include a bad character reference for a non-defendant, meaning someone who is not before the court and not being tried, this is an attempt to complicate matters and engage in a prosecution of guilty by association.
Furthermore the prosecution have made an application for hearsay evidence to be accepted from a deceased person and a second one from a person who they cannot locate, hearsay evidence is very low grade evidence for a case of this nature, to further submit it from someone who is now dead and a second person who is un-contactable shows the strength of the prosecution case against Seamus.
At a previous hearing it was agreed that the Preliminary Inquiry would be heard in Dungannon court, outside of court proceedings today the Prosecution secured a change of venue with the Judge to Omagh Court house. Representatives of the Release Seamus Daly Campaign will be in attendance daily during the Inquiry and once more we ask for your continued support.