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Garda appears in court charged with dangerous driving and endangerment over fatal N7 crash

Garda John Francis Ryan, of Tallaght station, was summonsed to appear before Judge Joanne Carroll at Dublin District Court this morning.

A GARDA HAS appeared in court accused of dangerous driving and endangerment of life in connection with an incident where three men were killed in a collision on the N7 in Dublin two years ago.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed a prosecution over the alleged pursuit of the three men, who were members of a Tallaght-based gang.

Dean Maguire, 29, Karl Freeman, 26, and Graham Taylor, 31, died instantly when their BMW vehicle burst into flames following a head-on crash with a truck between Citywest and Baldonnel on July 7, 2021, while they were driving on the wrong side of the road fleeing gardai.

A file was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc), which investigated the circumstances of the fatal crash.

Garda John Francis Ryan, of Tallaght station, was summonsed to appear before Judge Joanne Carroll at Dublin District Court this morning.

He is accused of endangerment of life and three counts of dangerous driving.

Dressed in a white shirt, dark tie, navy trousers and brown shoes, he came forward when the case was called and stood next to his solicitor Elizabeth Hughes.

However, there was no representative from the DPP at the proceedings.

The officer has not indicated a plea, and his case has been adjourned until 4 October.

Elizabeth Hughes told Judge Carroll her application was for disclosure of prosecution evidence “with any CCTV footage there may”.

Judge Carroll asked if a representative of the DPP was present or if the defence solicitor had seen one in court. “I have not, judge,” replied Hughes.

The judge then wanted to know if the investigating member was present and again enquired if anyone from the DPP’s office was there.

Designated investigating officer with Gsoc, Seán Campbell, told the court, “There was a request, and there does not appear to be anybody here.”

He added: “I have been onto the office, and I don’t believe there will be anybody here”.

The judge asked if the case was listed for a plea to be entered or to set a hearing date, but the defence said that disclosure of evidence was sought.

Asked if he could comply, the Gsoc officer replied, “I can indeed”.

Judge Carroll adjourned the case until 4 October for a plea or hearing date to be set.

She also acceded to an application from Hughes to order the media not to publish the garda’s address.

The accused stood silently throughout the hearing but said “thanks” as the judge made her final order.

Directions from the DPP have yet to be given about the trial venue, whether it would be heard in the District Court or in the Circuit Court, which has broader sentencing powers.

Members of the Maguire family and their solicitor Michael Finucane were at the hearing.

A coroner’s inquest into the three men’s deaths has already been opened but adjourned pending the criminal proceedings.