A 19-year-old man has appeared before the Special Criminal Court charged in connection with the murder of Aidan “The Beast” O’Driscoll in Cork over two years ago.
Eoin Morrissey, with an unknown address, was charged in relation to the murder of Mr O’Driscoll, 37, in Blackpool in Cork on December 7, 2016.
Mr O’Driscoll, a senior figure in the Real IRA in Munster, died after he was shot up to four times as he walked along on the northside of Cork city just minutes after he had finished work.
Morrissey was firstly charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of Daniel Hegarty by providing him with a firelighter with which to burn a red Opel Astra car at Firmount, Donoughmore, Co Cork, a car which had which had allegedly been used to transport the alleged killers.
He was also charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of Daniel Hegarty by following him to Inchamay, Naad, Banteer, where a red Opel Astra car was burnt, so as to provide transport for him after the burning.
These offences are alleged to have occurred between December 8 and 19 2016, both dates inclusive.
State solicitor Ciara Vibien, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told the three-judge court that the DPP had directed that Mr Morrissey be tried in respect of the offences at the non-jury court.
In certain cases, the DPP can certify that in his or her opinion the ordinary courts are inadequate to secure the effective administration of justice.
Detective Sergeant Niall O’Connor, of Watercourse Garda Station in Cork, told Ms Vibien that he arrested Mr Morrissey this morning at 7.15am for the purpose of charge and he made no reply.
The witness said he later met Mr Morrissey at 10.35am this morning in the precinct of the court and handed him a copy of the original charge sheet which was explained to him.
Ms Vibien said the DPP was applying to the court to make an order under Section 49 of the Offences Against the State Act that Mr Morrissey be tried before the Special Criminal Court.
Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge Ann Ryan, made the order, directing that Mr Morrissey be tried before the Special Criminal Court.
Ms Vibien said the agreed conditions of Mr Morrissey’s bail had been handed into the court and the case was put in for mention on January 21.
Earlier, two men pleaded guilty to certain charges in connection with Mr O’Driscoll’s murder.
Colin Casey, 32, and Daniel Hegarty, 24, with unknown addresses, appeared before the Special Criminal Court in October and were both charged in relation to the murder of Mr O’Driscoll.
Ronan Munro SC, defending Casey, told the court today that his client could be arraigned on the four counts.
Casey pleaded guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of the alleged killers by collecting them from the Redemption Road area of Blackpool after they arrived in a silver Nissan Almera with a Tipperary registration, and driving them from that location in a white Vauxhall Astra with a 99 Galway registration plate.
He also pleaded guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of the alleged killers by burning out the Nissan and the Vauxhall in which the alleged killers had fled the murder scene, and with driving them away from there in a red Opel Astra which had a Cork registration.
Blaise O’Carroll SC, defending Hegarty, also told the court that his client could be arraigned on the four counts.
Hegarty pleaded guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of the alleged killers by collecting and concealing a bag used by the alleged killers in the vicinity of Farranferris, Blackpool in Cork city.
Hegarty also pleaded guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of the alleged killers by concealing the bag at Ballygibbon in Blarney, Co Cork and setting fire to a Honda CBR motorcycle with a Cork registration used to transport the bag, and concealing and burning out a red Opel Astra car he had allegedly driven after concealing the bag.
Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, told the court that these were very early pleas in circumstances where the men had waived their right to a book of evidence.
The two men were remanded on continuing bail with the same terms and conditions until March 11.