Legal aid – with more than €100,000 in the bank

Judge Neilan read out the order of the High Court which indicated that “The court considers it appropriate that the state pay” the legal fees of Christy Nevin, 33 Abbeylands, Mullingar and granted him junior counsel.

This order was made, he said “with knowledge that he had €125,714.72”.

On March 16 last Mr Nevin was granted bail at the High Court on condition that he lodge €10,000.

The judge said it was not for him to be critical of the High Court regarding the issues that he himself had sought to address.

Mr John Quinn said the 33-year-old had been living in rented accommodation and had received a compensation settlement. He had agreed to purchase a house at 1 Woodgrove in Portlaoise for €120,000.

Mr Nevin said he hadn’t touched about €115,700 of the compensation he had received and said he would sell two horses he had bought with compensation of €4,300 four years ago to make up the balance of the cost.

“We heard earlier you couldn’t give away horses,” said the judge.

“If you have the right one you’ll sell it,” replied Mr Nevin.

He is in receipt of €135 disability allowance which Mr Quinn said should have been €204. He had been assessed by social welfare.

He said it was his client’s primary objective to provide for his family.

Mr Nevin said he owned a 2002 English-registered Opel Astra which had to be pushed in the morning so his wife could bring their children to school. He said he was trying to get the money together to get Irish plates for it.

Legal aid was granted on the basis that Mr Nevin is looking after his wife and children.

Making a final reference to the defendant’s horses, Judge Neilan inquired if they were recent derby winners.

“I wouldn’t think so, judge,” was Mr Nevin’s response.

At a previous court sitting it was revealed that Mr Nevin received the compensation after he rescued his sister-in-law. Her caravan had become a ‘fire-ball’ when a new heating appliance was supplied filled with petrol instead of kerosene.

A Credit Union book outlining the balance was found on Mr Nevin when he was arrested in Longford in February for public order offences.


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