A 49-year-old man has been charged with money laundering and keeping €320,000 in crime proceeds at his home in Drogheda, Co. Louth.
Father-of-one Michael Hodgins, from Pearse Park, in Drogheda, was charged today under section seven of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act.
He was brought before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court.
Mr Hodgins replied “no comment” when the charge was put to him.
Judge Walsh noted there was no garda objection to bail and defence solicitor Michael Finucane said that conditions had been agreed.
Judge Walsh asked for background information about the case and was told a search was carried out at Mr Hodgins’s home and the money was allegedly found under a step.
The judge held that there ought to be an independent surety.
Mr Finucane argued that there was no objection to bail subject to conditions.
He submitted that his client had the presumption of innocence and was entitled to his liberty.
The charge was serious but that could be met by the bail conditions, the solicitor argued.
He has surrendered his passport and would be limited in his movements. He had been arrested at his home, had lived in Drogheda all his life and lived with his partner, Mr Finucane said.
Therefore there was legally no good reason for restriction of his liberty by needing a surety, he contended.
However, Judge Walsh held that bail in Mr Hodgins’s own bond of €2,000 can be taken up if an independent surety in the sum of €10,000 has been approved by a judge of the district court.
Once released he must obey a curfew, sign on three times a week at Drogheda Garda station, not apply for new travel documents and provide gardai with his mobile phone number.
He was remanded in custody with consent to bail on these terms to appear at Cloverhill District Court on Friday.
Directions from the Director of Public Proseuctions need to be obtained.
Legal aid was granted to Mr Hodgins after the judge noted he was on social welfare. The accused has not yet said how he will plead.