Daniel Treacy, aged 36, was shot dead on February 22, 2010, at a Topaz garage in Caherdavin. He was shot three times in the head and once in the groin.
Last October, John Coughlan, a 33-year-old electrician, of Pineview Gardens, Moyross, was jailed for life after being found guilty of the murder.
The trial heard Coughlan shot Mr Treacy out of revenge for the killing of his brother, Darren Coughlan, who died after a beating in 2005. A brother of Mr Treacy’s was one of three men convicted in relation to Darren Coughlan’s death.
At Limerick District Court yesterday, Bernadette Coughlan, mother of John Coughlan, sought the return of her 02 reg Toyota Corolla, which was seized during the Daniel Treacy murder investigation and held by gardaí as an exhibit.
Shane O’Callaghan, barrister, making the application, said that, after the murder, Coughlan drove to North Kerry, where he burned out his car. He was subsequently picked up by his father Eugene, using his wife’s Toyota Corolla, and driven back to Limerick, where he was later arrested.
Mr O’Callaghan said Mrs Coughlan has been without her car for more than four years as it was confiscated as evidence. He said the use of Mrs Coughlan’s car never came into the trial and the defence never raised any issue in relation to it. He also told the court Coughlan’s conviction was now the subject of an appeal.
Inspector Seamus Ruane said that, as the conviction was under appeal, he objected to the return of the car and wanted to obtain the views of the DPP on the matter. He said there was a duty on the State to retain all exhibits.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly said if a retrial was ordered and Coughlan changed his legal team, this team could decide to take a differentapproach regarding the use of Mrs Coughlan’s car.
He said there is a duty on the State to preserve evidence and if there was a retrial, the State would be attacked if they disposed of an exhibit. He adjourned the application to July 3 to allow gardaí canvass the opinion of the DPP.