Garland's bail application case adjourned

Thursday 12 February 2009 13.19
Sean Garland - Extradition sought by US authorities
Sean Garland - Extradition sought by US authorities

Former Workers Party president Sean Garland has had his bail application adjourned again after the High Court heard that electronic tagging is not used in Ireland.

Mr Justice John McMenamin yesterday asked gardaí to investigate the possibility of electronic tagging when hearing Mr Garland's application for bail pending an extradition hearing.

US authorities are seeking the extradition of Mr Garland to face charge of conspiring with others in an alleged counterfeiting operation for US dollars outside the US.

Gardaí had objected to bail on the basis that Mr Garland had previously absconded from Northern Ireland where he was on bail.

Detective Sergeant Martin O'Neill told the court this morning that electronic tagging is not used. He said a scheme was in operation in the UK and is due to come into force in Northern Ireland in April.

Mr Justice McMenamin asked gardaí if a less formal arrangement could be made using a mobile phone that could be tracked. Det Sgt O'Neill said a mobile phone could be used to track someone providing it was in the possession of the person in question and not someone else.

Counsel for the State Patrick McGrath said Mr Garland was considered a flight risk.

However, the judge asked what the authorities had done in the intervening years since Mr Garland left Northern Ireland in 2005. He asked to see Mr Garland's passport and adjourned the matter until tomorrow.

The court heard yesterday that the 74-year-old, from Brownstown in Navan, Co Meath, has a number of illnesses and is receiving ongoing medical treatment. His lawyers said it would be 'suicidal' for him to abscond.

They also say Mr Garland left Northern Ireland because he was not resident there and needed medical treatment in the Republic. He also had more faith in the courts system here to deal with any extradition proceedings, the judge was told.

Mr Garland's lawyers have questioned why the US authorities sought to extradite him through the UK authorities when he was clearly living in the south.

They said the US had used a window of opportunity when Mr Garland was attending a political meeting in Northern Ireland to execute extradition proceedings against him through the UK authorities

Mr Garland's lawyers said the US could easily have issued the same proceedings through the Irish authorities, as it had later done.