SOLICITOR John Devane has insisted he would be “a dead man walking” if he made a statement to gardaí surrounding an alleged assault, last week, at Limerick Courthouse.
He expressed fears for both his and his family’s, safety.
The high-profile solicitor was involved in an incident involving a member of the McCarthy Dundon gang.
Following the incident, Limerick mayor Kevin Kiely and Steve Collins, father of murdered businessman Roy Collins, urged Mr Devane to make a statement of complaint to gardaí.
But Mr Devane said yesterday: “If I go to the gardaí, my security and – worst of all – the security of my wife, my two children, my staff, my neighbours, my friends are all put in jeopardy.
“I was told outside the courthouse, immediately after the assault by a person present, that if I make a statement to the gardaí, I’m a dead man walking.
“I don’t think it is an issue of credibility. The mayor said in the Limerick Leader last week I would lose credibility if I didn’t make a statement. I don’t agree I will lose credibility.
“But, in any case, I care more for the safety of my family and loves ones and I won’t be making that statement.”
Mr Devane, however, also stated he was not a coward.
“I’m a sensible person who wants to keep his family around him.”
Since the assault, he said, there had not been a word of solidarity from the Limerick Bar Association, the Law Society or the State Solicitors office although he received hundreds of texts and dozens of phone calls of support.
Mayor Kiely said Mr Devane will have to make his own moral judgment and decision. “That is whether he stands up or not. He is an officer of the court and is morally bound to act. If everybody were to take this attitude, these people would run riot and the system would descend into anarchy,” said Mayor Kiely.
The mayor said he could promise Mr Devane the person who attacked him would be arrested within hours.
Cllr Kiely added: “The ball is in his court. If he doesn’t act properly, he might as well walk away from his profession. The world is watching.”
Steve Collins, meanwhile, said it was time for Mr Devane to come forward as a stand had to be made.
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