By Gordon Deegan

A 70-year old Clare man, charged with assaulting his brother-in-law with an ash plant in a dispute concerning an animal, has been sent forward for trial.

At Kilrush District Court on Tuesday, the book of evidence was provided in the case against Flan McNamara, who is charged with the assault causing harm of Tom Casey on June 3, 2020, at Carrowreagh West, Cranny, Kilrush, Co. Clare.

McNamara of Carrowreagh West, Cranny, Kilrush is also charged with producing an ash plant capable on inflicting serious injury during the course of a dispute at Carrowreagh West, Cranny, Kilrush on the same date.

Legal aid application

Solicitor for Flan McNamara, Tara Godfrey applied for legal aid for the upcoming circuit court case in Ennis, Co. Clare.

She stated: “I was not granted legal aid in the district court. My client’s means were deemed sufficient for that.”

However, the solicitor stated that McNamara “has been through a number of cancer operations and chemotherapy since 2019, and he says that he would now not have the means to fund a circuit court defence”.

Judge Sandra Murphy granted legal aid for one junior counsel and Tara Godfrey to represent McNamara in the circuit court.

Alleged assault over animal dispute

At a previous court hearing, when giving an outline of the state case against McNamara, Sergeant Louis Moloney stated the case involves an alleged altercation between two men “in their senior years”.

Sgt. Moloney said that Tom Casey went to McNamara’s yard by arrangement on Wednesday, June 3,  2020 to pick up animals from McNamara due to a falling out between the two over another animal.

The sergeant stated that it will be alleged by the state that in the yard, McNamara assaulted Casey and used an ash plant during the course of the alleged assault.

Sgt. Moloney handed in two medical reports and a set of photographs concerning the bruising sustained by Tom Casey as a result of the alleged assault.

After hearing an outline of the case, reading the medical reports and examining the photographs, Judge Patrick Durcan declined jurisdiction and ruled that the case should be heard in the circuit court.

Judge Durcan’s ruling to transfer the case to the circuit court increases the potential penalty if Flan McNamara is convicted of the assault.