O’Brien seeks to pursue Supreme Court appeal

Former businessman Breifne O’Brien, who was jailed for inducing others to advance millions of euro to him for investment in bogus property deals, is seeking to pursue an appeal to the Supreme Court.

O’Brien, aged 54, with an address at Monkstown Grove, Monkstown, Co Dublin, had pleaded guilty to 14 sample counts of making a gain or causing a loss by deception or theft of around €8.5m between 2003 and 2008.

He was sentenced at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to seven years’ imprisonment, by Judge Patricia Ryan on October 8, 2014.

O’Brien had an appeal against sentence dismissed last December, the Court of Appeal holding that adequate consideration was given to the mitigating factors, and while the sentence was substantial, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said seven years was appropriate.

During case management procedures in the Court of Appeal yesterday, Barry Murphy, counsel for O’Brien sought legal aid to pursue an application to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal his unsuccessful appeal against sentence.

In May, lawyers for Joe O’Reilly sought legal aid to pursue a similar application to the Supreme Court to appeal the Court of Appeal’s dismissal of a bid to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice.

Mr Justice George Birmingham, who oversees the procedural management of cases through the court on his own, indicated in May that three judges would have to deal with O’Reilly’s application because it was the first such legal aid application to come before the Court of Appeal under new jurisdiction.

Mr Justice Birmingham had said there wasn’t an automatic right of appeal to the Supreme Court, as there had been before the Court of Appeal was established.

Counsel for the DPP in O’Brien’s case, Lorcan Staines, referred to the O’Reilly case yesterday and said three judges would have to hear O’Brien’s application.

Mr Justice Birmingham said the O’Brien matter could be listed for mention on the same date as O’Reilly when there will be a “court of three” judges, on July 22.


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