Former Taoiseach Charles Haughey appears in court over allegations he obstructed the McCracken tribunal.

Today Charles Haughey almost managed to evade photographers and cameramen gathered outside the Dublin District Court on Brunswick Street, when he arrived one hour early for his court appearance, using a side entrance to the court building.

At two o’clock Judge John Nealon called the case of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Haughey.

Claire Loftus from the Chief State Solicitor’s Office informed the court that the DPP had elected to proceed on indictment.

Charles Haughey was accompanied in the courtroom by his son Conor and solicitor Deirdre Courtney. Judge Nealon fixed 6th October for Charles Haughey’s next appearance in court, and asked if Mr Haughey had any difficulty with that date.

The former Taoiseach stood, and said ‘No difficulty whatsoever’.

The judge then asked that Mr Haughey be given the opportunity to leave the building with dignity.

Departing via the front entrance, Charles Haughey was driven away past a small group of Socialist Worker Party protestors and waiting media. His exit went largely unnoticed by passersby.

In October Mr Haughey will return to the Dublin District Court for service of the Book of Evidence and for the taking of any depositions and submissions.

The case will then be sent forward for trial to the higher court, where Mr Haughey will be entitled to trial before a jury.

The maximum conviction for charges of obstructing the work of the Tribunal in the Circuit Court is a fine not exceeding £10,000 and/or up to two years in prison.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 30 July 1998. The reporter is Mary Wilson.