14 Aug 2022

Covid-19 brings video links to Naas courthouse

Technology and justice

Video link technology, which allows people to give evidence from a remote location, is currently being used at Naas Courthouse during the regular District Court sittings.

Although the facility and technology is available and has been for some time, it is rarely used.

This is because, most of the time, those involved in cases can make their way to the courthouse.

But it is being called into action on current court days because of the social distancing requirements to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak. Three men, held in detention on unrelated cases could give evidence to the court via video link one Wednesday the week before last.

In the first instance the defendant, a man was being prosecuted for having no insurance or driving licence but was in detention on other charges.

The defendant appeared on both monitors in the courtroom and said he was due to be released on June 17.

His case is adjourned until June 10, when he will likely appear at Naas Courthouse — presuming that the virus has departed.

The second case was adjourned until a later date and concerned a man, who said he is not guilty.

He had a solicitor, Brian Larkin, appointed to represent him on what Sgt Jim Kelly described as “a road traffic matter”.

The case was then adjourned.

The third case didn’t run as smoothly.

When Sgt Kelly sought to have this adjourned for a week the man, speaking from Cloverhill Prison, protested his innocence.

“I’m being kept against my will, I’m here nine days and I’ve had no healthcare. I want to get out,” he said.

Solicitor Tim Kennelly told the court that the defendant was in need of medical treatment and this was to have been provided, as was previously mentioned.

“He was remanded in custody whether he likes it or not,” said Sgt Kelly.

Addressing the defendant, the judge said the legal position is that “your bail was revoked.”

The outcome was the defendant would be brought before the court in a week so his solicitor, Tim Kennelly, could arrange bail.

Mr Kennelly said it would be “quicker” to arrange bail next week in Naas rather than taking the alternative route of going to the High Court and seeking a bail arrangement.

The defendant, still less than happy, disappeared from the screen and room, remonstrating as he departed.

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