Ireland’s Top Barrister, up on Murder Charge; Withdraws Bail Changes, Application?

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Barrister (53) accused of dad of four’s murder withdraws application to change his bail terms

 23rd August 2022

A SENIOR barrister charged with murder has withdrawn an application to change his bail terms.

Diarmuid Rossa Phelan (53), a law professor, is accused of killing father-of-four, Keith Conlon in a shooting on farmland in Dublin in February.

His lawyers were due to bring an application to vary bail conditions at Dublin District Court today but Judge Patricia Cronin was told this was not now proceeding.

She adjourned the case for the directions of the DPP to be given.

Mr Phelan is charged with murdering Mr Conlon at Hazelgrove Farm, Kiltalown Lane, Tallaght, on February 22.

Mr Conlon, a dog breeder from Kiltalown Park in Tallaght, was seriously injured in an incident on the land at the foot of the Dublin mountains, and was pronounced dead in hospital two days later.

DPP directions are required in the case and the court heard previously that further charges were under consideration.

Mr Phelan was excused from attending when his case came before the court today for an application to vary bail.

Defence solicitor Brian Coveney said this was not proceeding “at this juncture” but 48 hours notice would be given to the gardai in the event of any application.

Judge Cronin remanded the accused on continuing bail in his absence to September 1. She said his lawyers should notify him that he is to attend on the next date.

An earlier request to change bail terms was granted by Judge Bryan Smyth last month. That was for a temporary variation of the conditions over six days in August.

The purpose of that variation was not stated in open court.

In May, the court briefly suspended bail terms to allow the accused to go on a “short trip” for two days.

The High Court refused Mr Phelan bail in March, but the following month the Court of Appeal overturned that decision and released him on a €100,000 bond with conditions.

Bail terms stated he must obey a nightly curfew at a garda-approved address, sign on daily at a garda station, and be contactable by mobile phone.

He had to give gardaí access to all his Irish and foreign bank accounts.

He must stay out of Tallaght and out of his properties in Wexford and have no contact with prosecution witnesses in the case.

The lawyer had to surrender his passport, and must not leave the State, join a gun club, or purchase any firearms.

At a previous stage, the bail proceedings heard he shot a dog using his rifle or when the dog owner and his companions remonstrated that he had taken the revolver and fired three shots in their direction.

Mr Phelan claimed he was under various threats at the farm.

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