Man accused of Noel Kirwan murder 'fully contesting the charge'

A 25-year-old man accused of the murder of Noel “Duck Egg” Kirwan in Dublin “is fully contesting the charge”, a court was told today.

Jason Keating of Lower Main Street, Rush, in Dublin has been resent forward for trial to the Special Criminal Court and is charged with the murder of Christopher Kirwan AKA Noel Kirwan.

The 62-year-old, a friend of Gerard “The Monk” Hutch, was sitting in a car outside his house in St Ronan’s Drive, in Clondalkin on December 22 last when he was shot several times.

He was the tenth person to die in the Hutch-Kinahan feud which has claimed 12 lives.

His partner was in the passenger seat was but was not injured in the shooting.

The scne of the shooting in December 2016. Pic: Rollingnews

Earlier this month Mr Keating was sent forward for trial to the Special Criminal Court, however, the charge was struck out on September 14 and he was told he was “free to go” after issues were raised around the initial paperwork.

Immediately afterwards he was re-arrested, charged again with the murder and was remanded in custody following another court hearing.

He appeared again at Cloverhill District Court on Thursday when he was served with a book of evidence by Detective Sergeant Damian Gannon.

Judge Victor Blake was told the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed trial on indictment. The DPP had also granted a certificate under Section 42.2 of the Offences Against the State Act to direct that Mr Keating is to be sent forward for trial at a sitting of the non-jury Special Criminal Court

A State solicitor said that the DPP’s view that in this case, “the ordinary courts are not effective for the administration of justice”.

Judge Blake told Mr Keating that if he intended to use an alibi in his defence he must inform the prosecution within 14 days. Dressed in a tracksuit bottoms, runners and a green T-shirt, he replied “Yes” when asked if he understood.

The judge acceded to a request from defence solicitor Robert Purcell to grant legal aid to include representation of junior and senior counsel for the defendant.

He also made an order for disclosure of video evidence to the defence.

Mr Purcell told Judge Blake that some time has been lost; the trial date will possibly be further away than it should have been and he added that: “Mr Keating is fully contesting the charge and is anxious for it to proceed”.

Mr Keating was further remanded in custody and was told by the judge that a date for his next hearing will be allocated in due course.

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