A Dublin man who spent three days in jail on behalf of his brother was today released from custody.
Barry Deegan, 18, may have been inspired by a misplaced sense of family loyalty when the Gardaí called round to his home in Ballymun with a benchwarrant for the arrest of his brother, Daniel.
He informed gardaí that he was Daniel Deegan and was promptly arrested.
Deegan continued to play the part of his brother when he appeared before Dublin District Court four days ago, and this led to him being remanded in custody in Cloverhill Prison.
At Cloverhill District Court, Judge John Coughlan was told that the man standing in the dock before him was not Daniel Deegan.
“I know that he’s not Daniel Deegan, but I don’t know if he’s Barry Deegan,” said Garda Robin Faughnan of Santry Garda station.
The court heard that the teenager, who only informed his barrister of his real identity this morning, had been arrested several times previously under the name ’Anthony Whelan’.
“To be fair to him, he shouldn’t be facing these charges. We should let him out, simple as that,” said Judge Coughlan.
Deegan, from Balcurris in Ballymun, was released immediately but may face charges under the Theft and Fraud Act for giving a false name to gardaí.
He has promised gardaí that he will contact his brother, who is wanted on theft and public order charges.
Earlier this week, gardaí had to bring in two men to the Bridewell District Court to establish their true identity.
Both men were from Ballymun and had given the same name and address when they were arrested in Blackrock and Ballymun on the same day.
Gardaí detected the discrepancy when they entered the men’s details on the PULSE computer system.
But it was only when the two men were confronted with each other face to face in court that one of them admitted that he had give a false name.