Gemma Greene challenges bail conditions

Gemma Greene challenges bail conditions

Aodhan O'Faolain

Dublin woman Gemma Greene who is charged with dangerous driving following an alleged chase involving Garda vehicles has brought a High Court action over bail conditions imposed on her by the District Court.

In judicial review proceedings against the Director of Public Prosecutions Ms Greene is challenging bail conditions that were imposed on her earlier this week by District Court Judge Treasa Kelly.

Those conditions include that Ms Greene stay away from Ballymun, be under curfew from 11pm to 6am, sign on daily with the Gardai and that she remains of sober habits.

The variations were granted following an application to the District Court by the gardaí.

Jurisdiction

Ms Greene claims the District Court lacks the jurisdiction to make the variations, and seeks an order quashing the changes to her bail conditions imposed by the District Court on March 29th last.

She also seeks declarations including that the District Court does not have the jurisdiction to vary the bail conditions, and that the additional conditions are not lawful, proportionate nor necessary.

Her counsel Giollaiosa O'Lideadha SC, appearing with Karl Monahan Bl, told the High Court court on Thursday that the District Court heard that the variations were being sought because Ms Greene had holidayed in Spain following her arrest and charge, and had given media interviews stating that she intended to leave the jurisdiction.

Following her arrest by gardaí earlier this month, Ms Greene of Bunratty Road, Coolock, Dublin 17, was remanded on Station bail, where she was required to attend court and be of good behaviour, which she has fully complied with.

Counsel said no reason were given before the District Court to justify the variations, which he claims are unnecessary.

Station bail

Ms Greene's solicitor had argued before the district court that it did not have the power to vary the station bail, counsel said.

However, Judge Kelly said she had a common law power and an inherent jurisdiction to make the variations to Ms Greene's bail, counsel said.

Counsel said that there is an arguable case that the judge does not have such a power where the original release was on station bail, and that the decision to impose the particular conditions was irrational and should be set aside.

There was a lot in the background of this case counsel said, and it was accepted that his client is facing serious charges, arising out of matters that have garnered some media attention.

Charges

The judicial review proceedings were only in relation as to what happened at the District Court bail hearing earlier this week counsel added.

Ms Greene is charged with two counts of dangerous driving, on the M50 at Junctions 4 and 9 northbound last March 1st. She has not yet entered a plea.

It is alleged that Gardaí chased a car on the M50 until it stopped at the Hampton Wood Drive area of Ballymun.

Ms Greene's application for permission to bring her challenge, which was made ex-parte where one side was present in court, came before Ms Justice Niamh Hyland.

The judge said she was prepared to grant Ms Greene permission to bring her action.

The judge said was also prepared to put a stay on the bail conditions imposed by the District court.

The stay was being granted on the condition that Ms Greene surrender her passport to the Gardai, and undertake not to apply for any further travel documents, the Judge said.

The matter was adjourned to a date next week.

The DPP's lawyers can seek to oppose the stay, if they so choose, when the case is next before the court the judge added.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more