All people who were required to attend at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Monday morning had previously been advised not to attend court due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Judge Melanie Greally told lawyers in Court 5 of the Criminal Courts of Justice that any person who was due to attend court to answer their bail should have been told through their legal representative that they should not attend court.
She said all cases will be adjourned to an unspecified date after June 10, next and the investigating garda will caution defendants as to their new date. She said the courts service will also alert practitioners of their client’s adjourned date.
“The courts services and investigating gardaí will be working in conjunction to ensure all relevant parties are alerted,” Judge Greally assured barristers.
She had earlier told barristers that if anyone was present in the body of the court who wished to progress their case today, it could be done but asked that the person wait outside the building until their case is recalled “when the courtroom is sufficiently cleared”.
Judge Greally acknowledged that one man wished to be arraigned and took that arraignment after noting “he is here so we will do it and do it quickly”.
In those cases where defendants were in custody Judge Greally gave the option of an adjourned date when the case could be held in the absence of the accused or to a date that the defendant could “observe proceedings via video link”.
Judge Greally adjourned some cases, following a plea of guilty for a sentence date in July but advised that the July date is “subject to review, depending on how events unfold”.
Mark McCabe (26), a homeless man, was the only person sentenced before Judge Greally on Monday as he is a remand prisoner.
He was sentenced to four years with the final two years suspended after he pleaded guilty to robbery in Spar on the Malahide Road, Dublin, on October 25, 2019.
No cash was taken in the raid after staff managed to prevent McCabe taking money from the till and held him at the front of the store until gardaí arrived.
McCabe had no weapon with him, nobody was threatened by a weapon and neither staff member prepared a victim impact statement for the case.
Courtroom number five is the court room in which all Dublin Circuit Criminal Court cases are first listed having been moved on from the District Court. There are usually up to 40 cases listed each day between cases for mention, arraignment, sentence and pre-trial hearing.
Yesterday there were 19 cases listed before Judge Greally and the court sitting finished within an hour.
In another courtroom Judge Karen O’Connor adjourned to June 10 eight cases that were listed for trial. These cases included cases for serious assaults and robbery and one case involved a defendant who is in custody awaiting trial.