A number of men have had their cases sent forward to the Circuit Court after they were re-charged in the District Court this week (May 6 ) in relation to an incident where a man was imprisoned in his house for 14 hours and badly beaten.
A substantial book of evidence was served on Colm Donoghue, Kelly’s Apartments, Barrack Street; Thomas Donoghue, 31 Cathedral View; John Donoghue, 6 Ardilaun Green and Bernard Dunne, 28 Cathedral View, all in Mullingar.
The court heard that while the Donoghue brothers had been refused bail at District, High and Supreme Court levels after they were initially charged with the offence, they had been released from custody in April because DPP directions hadn’t been received and a book of evidence was not ready within 42 days.
The victim James Rattigan, who is on disability allowance following an accident, had returned to his home at about 8pm on January 13 after being out with friends.
The fire was lit and he was watching TV with two friends when six men entered the house uninvited and refused to leave.
Mr Rattigan was unable to leave his home until he escaped at 10am the next morning with serious injuries.
The Donoghues, who are charged with the offences against Mr Rattigan, are his first cousins.
The court heard that the victim is terrified since the incident but is not withdrawing the charges, although the suggestion has been made a number of times in court that he would.
Investigating Garda Bobby Feery told the court “I cannot emphasise enough how strongly I object to bail,” and gave evidence to the court of the reasons for his objection.
Judge John Coughlan said he was bound by the previous decisions of the higher courts and refused bail, remanding the Donoghues in custody to appear at Mullingar Circuit Court on May 11.
Mr Dunne was granted bail on the same conditions as previously set down by the High Court and he is to remain in Drogheda and have no contact with the co-accused or the victim and to maintain a curfew between midnight and 7am.
He was not granted leave to stay with his wife and three-month-old child who was born prematurely and is unwell.
“The nearest I want him is Drogheda,” said Judge Coughlan.
At yesterday’s court Joe Donoghue of 28 Cathedral View was also served with the book of evidence and remanded in custody to the same court.
Junior and senior counsel were assigned to all of the men.