Gardaí arrested a man at Cork Airport and charged him with raping a young woman in Cork in November 2018.
Detective Garda Margaret Ryan brought the 29-year-old before Cork District Court on a single charge of rape and objected to bail being granted to him.
The detective said that gardaí were alerted that the young man was flying into Cork on January 31 and they went to the airport, arrested him there, and subsequently charged him with rape.
The single count states that on November 13, 2018, he allegedly raped the woman at an address in Cork.
There is a prohibition against the identification of any of the parties in the case.
Det Garda Ryan said that days after the alleged rape, gardaí questioned the young man. The detective said that while the accused was not charged at that early stage in November 2018 “he was told we would be in contact with him again".
Defence solicitor Frank Buttimer said that six months after the alleged offence, the young man went to work in the UK. He said he had returned to Ireland twice since that time and that authorities never alerted gardaí until Tuesday when he flew into Cork.
Judge Olann Kelleher asked: “Was he shocked to be arrested?” Det Garda Ryan replied that he was shocked.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said the State was opposed to bail because of the seriousness of the charge and the fact that the accused had not made himself available to gardaí when he was in the UK.
Mr Buttimer said he failed to understand how the accused had not been traced by Interpol in all of his time in the UK as he was working under his own name and later received a furlough payment from the state in the UK during the Covid pandemic.
The solicitor said that because of delays in cases such as this reaching trial at the Central Criminal Court, the accused could be “languishing in jail for two years for something for which he says he is innocent,” if bail was refused. Ultimately, the issue in the case would be one of consent, Mr Buttimer said.
Judge Kelleher granted bail on conditions, which included the surrender of his passport, residing at a Cork address, signing daily at his local garda station, and provision of a phone number to gardaí at which he would be contactable.
Sgt Lyons said a book of evidence would be prepared in the case and an adjournment was granted until March 15 for that purpose.