The Director of Public Prosecutions has decided that no prosecutions should take place after the conclusion of two garda investigations into allegations of misconduct by members of a jury who convicted a Longford farmer of assaulting agents for debt collection.
At Portlaoise Circuit Court, Judge Tony Hunt said he was entirely mystified by the substance of the investigation, which had been carried out after pig farmer Donal Connaughton made claims when he was found guilty by the jury almost ten months ago.
Judge Hunt described the incident as a side show that was now becoming almost farcical, but when he was told Connaughton’s legal counsel was not available this morning, he adjourned sentencing until Thursday afternoon.
Earlier, Counsel for the State told the court that gardaí had interviewed members of the jury who unanimously returned a verdict of guilty against Connaughton in 2012.
A file on the matter had been sent to the DPP, but the director had decided no prosecutions should be brought forward in relation to this matter.
The court was told one member of the jury did not make a statement to gardaí.
Counsel for the DPP said Connaughton was introducing material on a drip-drip basis, but Judge Hunt said the venue for allegations of this nature is the court of criminal appeal.
The case is being adjourned until 2pm on Thursday when Judge Hunt has said he will proceed with sentencing.
He warned Mr Connaughton that if he were to dismiss his legal team, as he had done on two previous occasions, he should come to court with a legal representative or be prepared to deal with his own defence.