#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 10°C Thursday 28 January 2021

10 people face trial for sharing pictures or naming two boys convicted of murdering teenage girl

The images and names were shared on social media.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

SIX MEN AND four women face trial accused of sharing names and pictures of two boys convicted of the murder of a teenage schoolgirl on social media.

The boys were juveniles and have the legal right to anonymity.

The 10 people, aged between 22 and 48, were investigated and had their cases listed again at Dublin District Court today.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had already recommended summary disposal of the cases in the district court.

However, Judge John Hughes ruled the cases were unfit to be heard at that level, where the maximum sentence is 12 months.

He adjourned them until 20 January next for the DPP to indicate consent to them being sent forward to the circuit court which can impose jail terms of up to three years.

Defence solicitors Michael French and Tony Collier argued that jurisdiction had already been accepted by then presiding Judge Brian O’Shea when he heard an outline of the allegations on 28 October last.

French said one of his clients had expected to have their case disposed of today and it was taking a “great toll” on that defendant.

Their submissions were adopted by lawyers for the remaining defendants.

Judge Hughes noted the arguments but cited a legal precedent in relation to reconsidering a trial venue order.

In a re-hearing of the allegations, Judge Hughes was told that following the boys’ Central Criminal Court trial, images appeared on social media purporting to identify them.

Section 93 of the Children Act states that no report shall be published or included in a broadcast which reveals the name, address or school of any child concerned in the proceedings or includes any particulars likely to lead to the identification of any child concerned in the proceedings.

At the teenagers’ appearances at the Children’s Court in Dublin, the news media was reminded of the reporting restrictions.

The judge there had also warned social media users they would face prosecution if they identified the pair.

That order continued and was reiterated throughout the trial in the Central Criminal Court.

Dublin District Court heard today that in the days after the boys were convicted, a number of posts online breached the court orders and the Children Act.

Nine of the defendants are from around Dublin and the remainder lives in Kildare.

They are accused of breaking the anonymity rule by illegally sharing images or naming the two boys.

State solicitor Edward Flynn told Judge John Hughes that the recent Court of Appeal ruling on section 252 of the Children Act also applied as a matter of law, preventing identification of a deceased child victim as well.

Gareth Cunningham (38) of Greenfort Crescent, Clondalkin allegedly posted pictures of the two boys on Facebook, Garda Adrian Kildea said.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Declan Corcoran (29) from Williams Place Lower, Dublin 1, also named the two boys on Twitter, Garda Kildea alleged. 

Edel Doherty (47) of Rory O’Connor House, on Hardwicke Street, Dublin 1 was accused of posting photos of the convicted boys on Facebook, Garda Robert McNicholas said.

Leeanda Farrelly (26) of Kilmartin Avenue, Tallaght, allegedly posted an image of one of the killers on Facebook, Garda McNicholas said. 

Jamie Shannon (25) of Empress Place, Dublin 1, allegedly posted pictures of both of the boys on Twitter.

Hazel Fitzpatrick (24) with an address at Easton Green, Leixlip, Kildare, posted text and pictures on Facebook, Garda Eamonn O’Neill told the court. 

Mother-of-three Louise Heaney (48) of Killinarden Estate, Tallaght, is accused of sharing a picture on Facebook with each of the boys circled, said Garda O’Neill.

Kyle Rooney (25) of Rathfield Park, Raheny, allegedly posted photos of the two boys on Twitter, the court was told. 

Robert Murphy (30) of Dolphin Road, Drimnagh, is accused of taking part in a thread discussion on Twitter in which the boys were named and he allegedly wrote, “stuff slowly leaks out”.

Jake Marshall (22) Balcurris Gardens, Ballymun, posted pictures of the boys in a tweet, Garda Niall Carolan told Judge Hughes.

They have not yet indicated how they will plead.

About the author:

Tom Tuite

Read next: