Barrister on murder charge appeals decision to refuse bail

Diarmuid Rossa Phelan (53), of Kiltalown Lane, Tallaght, Co Dublin is accused of the murder of Keith Conlon (36) at Hazelgrove Farm, Kiltalown Lane, Tallaght, on February 22nd last.
Barrister on murder charge appeals decision to refuse bail

Danielle Walsh Ronan

A prominent barrister who was remanded in custody when he was charged with the murder of a father of four in a fatal shooting on farmland last month is appealing a decision by the High Court not to grant him bail.

Diarmuid Rossa Phelan (53), of Kiltalown Lane, Tallaght, Co Dublin is accused of the murder of Keith Conlon (36) at Hazelgrove Farm, Kiltalown Lane, Tallaght, on February 22nd last.

Mr Conlon, from Kiltalown Park in Tallaght, was severely injured in the shooting incident and died at Tallaght University Hospital two days later.

During a High Court bail application, lawyers for Mr Phelan – who is a senior counsel and an associate law professor at the School of law, Trinity College Dublin – claimed their client would be "completely and utterly ruined" and his "life's work wiped out" if the application was turned down.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy refused the application, however, saying last Monday that Mr Phelan posed a serious flight risk if admitted on bail.

The judge explained that Mr Phelan has a "powerful incentive to evade justice" based on the seriousness of the charge, the strength of the evidence, the likely sentence and the ongoing threats to the accused.

On Friday, the Court of Appeal was told Mr Phelan has informed the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of his intention to appeal Ms Justice Murphy’s decision.

Jane McGowan BL, for the DPP, said the prosecutor had received notice of Mr Phelan’s appeal on Thursday afternoon.

Michael O’Higgins SC, for Mr Phelan, told Court President Mr George Birmingham that he expected any such hearing to last “about an hour”.

Ms McGowan said she agreed with Mr O’Higgins’s estimation.

Setting a date of April 5th for the appeal hearing, Mr Justice Birmingham told the defence and prosecution teams that they “must work to that deadline”.

“The onus is on both sides to work to that date,” he added.

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