Murder accused bail application held up by technicality

An application for release on bail from the man accused of the murder of Marie Greene was refused in the District Court this week (March 9 ) after the judge was not satisfied with the independent surety presented to him.

Earlier in the week (March 7 ), Jimmy Devaney (63 ) of Millbrook, Monksland, Athlone - who was charged with Marie’s murder on February 22 - was granted a highly conditional bail from the High Court in Dublin, but was remanded back in custody at the time as he was unable to provide €25,000 independent surety or have lodged €6,000 in cash with Court Services as ordered.

On Wednesday a family friend accompanied Devaney’s daughter Sharon to the District Court with the €6,000 in cash and a bank statement to prove there were sufficient funds on account to cover the €25,000 surety.

Superintendent Aidan Glacken told the court there was no Garda objection to the bail, so long as Devaney abided by the conditions laid down earlier in the week by Judge Paul Butler in the High Court. These included that Devaney reside at an address agreed with Gardaí, report daily to a named Garda station, obey a curfew, and not apply for a passport.

Judge Seamus Hughes asked the provider of the surety on Wednesday if they were aware of these conditions, and the family friend said yes. The judge confirmed they were in gainful employment, and had no convictions.

However, though the €6,000 in cash was available, Judge Hughes took objection to the bank statement that showed the availability of €25,000, as it had been issued on January 1, and he demanded “one with today’s date”.

When Sharon Devaney and her friend returned with the up-to-date statement - the result of a legacy, the court was told - Judge Hughes felt he still couldn’t accept it as it had the word “administrator” written on it, which he felt meant the suretor may not have been the sole beneficiary.

Solicitor for the Devaney family, Tony McLynn, argued the person was the sole beneficiary, and even handed in a receipt from Revenue to prove that capital acquisition tax had been paid.

Judge Hughes accepted this and added: “I’m not trying to be difficult”. He told Mr McLynn the statement would be acceptable if he could provide it without the proviso of “administrator” on it.

He allowed the defence team leave to produce this to any court, and not necessarily wait to present it to him at next week’s sitting of Athlone District Court.

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