Colm Roddy was "up for mention" at Ennis District Court today as a result of efforts by himself and Dave Donnellan to search two US military aircraft at Shannon Airport almost one year ago. Judge Durcan, who last November had struck out the charges against Colm Roddy had initially forgotten his previous dismissal of these charges, and then when he remembered, sought more information from the prosecution about the DPP's decision to overturn Judge Durcan's ruling in November. Inspector Kennedy was not in court and the prosecuting inspector knww nothing of te case, so the matter was adjourned once again to Wed 26th April.
Full report from our Court correspondent ...
Colm was back in court this morning for a much anticipated showdown. Surprisingly, there was no showdown. In fairness to judge Durcan, both Colm and his McKenzie were very satisfied with both his concern and his intention to find out exactly why Colm is back in court after he Judge Durcan dismissed the charges against Colm back in November.
Things seemed to start of badly when the judge's first words to Colm were whether he was pleading guilty or looking for a trial date. Colm replied that he was confused as to why he was back in court at all, considering that Judge Durcan had already dismissed the charges against him.
Inspector Kennedy was conspicuously absent today.
Anyway, on hearing Colm's reply, the judge said that he vaguely remembered striking out the case but couldn't remember the full details as to why he'd binned it. Some might take issue with this, but Ennis courtroom is a very busy place with something like sixty or seventy cases per day going through their separate motions before the judge. So it's understandable that Judge Durcan cannot dredge up the minutiae of any particular case at a moment's notice.
The judge, after being told that Colm felt that he had been "railroaded" by the last judge, Judge Grainne O'Neill, and Inspector Kennedy on the previous occasion, neither of whom had been present when the case was struck out, ordered another court date for the 26th, where he'll have assembled all the documentation from the previous mention dates and put together why he threw the case out, and that we'll take it from there and that when it's taken from there, Colm will not be "railroaded."
It's hard not to see this in a positive light. Even Colm's "McKenzie Friend" is very happy and is delighted with Colm's fortitude and fighting spirit. He said: "Regardless as to how it goes from here, it is a pleasure to fight one's corner and to progress a case in an atmosphere where fairness composes the presiding atmosphere. We cannot ask for more than that and it allows us to focus on the issues and on the end game, which is justice, fairness and protection of human rights and especially human life"
Meanwhile back at Shannon Airport this morning there was a US Air Force Hercules C130 number JW 5349.