Arrest warrant issued for former senator

James Heffernan was due to appear at Dublin District Court to face charges in connection with two alleged incidents.

Arrest warrant issued for former senator

A judge has ordered the arrest of a former a Labour party senator accused of stealing from a top private member’s only club in Dublin.

James Heffernan, 40, with an address at Main Street, Kilfinane, Co. Limerick, was due to appear at Dublin District Court to face charges in connection with two alleged incidents.

He was accused of theft of a coat valued at €80, and a book called Dáil Eireann parliamentary debates 1923, valued at €225, at the Stephen’s Green Club, in Dublin 2 on August 7 last.

The former politician also faced Public Order Act charges over an alleged incident at Lincoln Place in Dublin 2 on January 14.

Bail had been granted last month and he was due to come back to court today to say how he intended to plead.

However, he did not show up and his barrister John Griffin said he had not seen the accused at court.

Judge Michael Walsh issued a bench warrant for Mr Heffernan’s arrest.

Last month, Detective Sergeant Eugene McCarthy told the court that when he charged him with the theft offences, Mr Heffernan replied: “There’s no hope that jacket was worth €80, tell them I’ll swap them a jacket”. He had also said “Give it back” in relation to the book theft.

There was CCTV evidence. The Director of Public Prosecutions had directed that it could be dealt with at district court level and jurisdiction has been accepted.

The court heard there was no video evidence of the alleged public order incident. An order for disclosure has been made.

On February 4, he was granted legal aid after he furnished the court with a statement of his means.

His solicitor Brian Keenan said Mr Heffernan was not working and was on social welfare.

The qualified primary school teacher and ex-member of Limerick County Council was elected for Labour to the 24th Seanad in 2011 but lost the party whip the following year when he voted against budget cuts. He joined the Social Democrats in 2015 and was an unsuccessful candidate for the party in the 2016 General Election.

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