The daughter of the late Evelyn Joel is to bring a High Court action aimed at preventing her retrial on a charge of gross negligence manslaughter of her mother.
Evelyn Joel (aged 59) died from pneumonia on January 7, 2006 a week after she was admitted to hospital in Wexford, after she was found in poor health at her daughter Eleanor's home. The deceased suffered from Multiple Sclerosis and had been living with her daughter in Enniscorthy prior to her death.
Eleanor Joel (aged 38) and her partner Mr Jonathan Costen (aged 39) were charged with unlawfully killing Evelyn by neglect. The couple denied the charges. Last year following a seven-week trial at Wexford Circuit Criminal Court a jury failed to reach a verdict in the case.
Today the High Court heard that Ms Joel, of Cluain Dara, Enniscorthy Co Wexford, intends to bring a High Court action aimed at halting her retrial for the offence of gross negligence manslaughter.
It is being brought on grounds including that there is a serious risk the re-trial will be unfair and contrary to Eleanor Joel's constitutional rights and rights under the European Convention of Human Rights.
The proceedings are against the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Garda Commissioner, Ireland and the Attorney General. Mr Costen and the HSE are notice parties to the intended proceedings.
In her application Ms Joel is seeking an order from the Court preventing and restraining the respondents from taking any further steps in prosecuting her.
She is also seeking declarations from the Court including that the common law offence of gross negligence manslaughter is inconsistent with provisions of the Irish Constitution and the State's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.
In their submissions to the court seeking leave Ms Joel lawyers also argue that decision to re-try Ms Joel amounts an abuse of process, is oppressive, and is perverse.
It is also claimed that gardaí failed to adequately investigate the circumstances of her mother's death and that their conclusions into who was responsible for Ms Joel's death were not based on thorough, objective and impartial analysis of all relevant elements.
The application for permission to bring the action will be heard at a later date on notice to the State parties. Mr Justice Brian McGovern today agreed to adjourn the matter to later this week for mention only.