Murder accused unable to attend court over illness

 Patrick Dunne: Was remanded to St Patrick's but was transferred to Central Mental Hospital for treatment.

A 20-year-old man with special needs, who has been charged with the murder of his mother, did not attend a scheduled court sitting yesterday because of illness.

Patrick Dunne, of Ballinagearagh, Lixnaw, Co Kerry, had been remanded in custody last Friday, to appear at Listowel District Court, yesterday.

A document was presented to the court explaining why he was not there.

A letter from the director of the Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Dublin, was handed to Judge Tim Lucey. It said he needed psychiatric treatment as an inpatient at the hospital.

Mr Dunne, who is charged with the murder of Susan Dunne, at their home in Ballinagearagh, on or about Nov 27, was brought before a court in Killarney, on Friday, and remanded in custody to St Patrick’s Institution. He was transferred to the Central Mental Hospital, on Saturday.

Solicitor Patrick Enright, for Mr Dunne, said he had no issue with the reasons for his non-appearance yesterday.

Inspector Tony Sugrue applied for a continuing remand in custody to Listowel Court, on Dec 18, by consent, and to excuse his non-attendance on that date, also by consent.

The application was granted by Judge Lucey who then asked if there were any other matters relating to the case.

Mr Enright said the remand should be to St Patrick’s Institution, but the accused was not going to be transferred from the Central Mental Hospital at this stage.

“He is not here today by reason of illness,’’ he said.

During Mr Dunne’s initial court appearance in Killarney, on Friday, Mr Enright asked that whatever medical treatment was necessary be provided for him.

He had been in the special needs system for quite a while and special cognisance has to be paid to his particular needs while in custody, the solicitor stated.

Mr Enright also said he had been in touch with the HSE to meet his needs and in regard to services for him if he is released on bail.


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