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Top criminal solicitor sent for trial accused of theft and perverting course of justice

Cahir O’Higgins, 45, appeared at Dublin District Court today.
Jun 16th 2020, 3:42 PM 39,428 0

A TOP CRIMINAL defence solicitor has told a court he is innocent “beyond any doubt” as he was sent forward for trial of accused of theft and perverting the course of justice.

“I wish to say the State are aware there are witnesses that prove my innocence beyond any doubt,” Cahir O’Higgins told district court president Judge Colin Daly today after he was served with a book of evidence.

“They should have spoken to them before dragging my name through the mud. They should have spoken to all potential witnesses in an unbiased and impartial manner before charging me with a crime I did not commit,” he added.

O’Higgins, 45, appeared at Dublin District Court today.

The Dublin solicitor is accused of theft of €400 belonging to a Spanish man who was a defendant in district court proceedings, on 30 July 2016.

The theft allegedly happened at a Londis shop, on Parkgate Street, close to the Criminal Courts of Justice building.

O’Higgins is also accused of four counts of perverting the course of public justice contrary to common law, on 8 and 17 December, within the State and at the Bridewell Garda Station in Dublin.

These charges allege intent to pervert the course of public justice, by producing to the investigating garda a copy of notes purportedly made by him on 30 July 2016 which contained information that he knew to be untrue, and that he knew the notes were not made on this date. These offences are in the context of a criminal investigation into the theft allegation.

He denies the charges.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) directed trial on indictment.

Book of evidence

A book of evidence was served on O’Higgins in court by Detective Garda Colm Kelly.

Judge Daly then made the order sending him forward for trial on bail to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he will face his next hearing on 10 July.

He told the solicitor that if he intended to use an alibi in his defence he must notify the prosecution within 14 days.

An order for disclosure of video evidence was also granted.

O’Higgins applied for legal aid for his defence.

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His counsel Karl Monahan said four of the alleged offences were not common charges. He submitted that they were complicated and of a grave nature, particularly for someone in his client’s position.

Judge Daly said the issue of legal aid was reserved for the circuit court to determine.

Earlier the court heard that when he was charged on 7 April last, his reply was: “I am surprised at this allegation, I am not guilty, I will answer it at the appropriate time in court.”

The defence have also said, “There is an issue of prosecutorial delay in this case.”

O’Higgins, whose practice is based at Dublin’s Parkgate Street, has featured among the top legal aid earners, and has represented defendants at every level of the criminal justice system.

His firm Cahir O’Higgins & Company Solicitors provides a full range of legal services including criminal defence, ligation, civil, and human rights law.

In 2017, he was highest paid legal aid solicitor in the country and had received €486,997.

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Tom Tuite


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