14th May 2021
The virtual show kicked off today with the prospect of the easing of restrictions commencing on the 10th of May, with the point being raised by Greg Hughes that while Donegal was under the microscope, gatherings such as weddings were taking place down the country. He was of course referring to the Longford County Council Circuit Court case in respect of a wedding which took place in Longford. Seamus Gunn was of the opinion that in this instance every effort had been made to implement the law. He said that the Gardai when they became aware of the proposed event notified the local authority and public health in Longford and that the County Council then secured an injunction to halt the Proceedings. He said that the difficulty arose when the Gardai that were deployed on site could not prevent people entering the event as they were entering through a halting site, as this would give rise to Civil Liberty issues. As the event proceeded, those responsible would now have to account for their actions before the Circuit Court as on the face of it they were in contempt of a Court Order. He said that he thought the difficulty with dealing with the case was that while one could be brought before the court for disobeying an injunction, it is usually to purge one’s contempt, thereby enforcing some action on the part of the individual to abide by the direction of the Court or else be incarcerated until they agree to do so. He said that in this instance the event had proceeded in defiance of the Court Order and for this, someone would be held responsible to answer for their actions. He said that GolfGate exercised a lot of minds last August, it was quite likely that this case would do likewise in the coming week.
The Q & A that followed started with a tricky local authority issue and antisocial behaviour, with land and estate issues also covered.
Listen to the full interview below.
14th May 2021
As we fast approach our 12th Zoom contribution to the show, the North Carolina cases of Molly & Thomas Martens were discussed at the opening, Greg enquiring as to the interest in the prospect of a retrial of the Martens for the murder of Jason Corbett in 2015. Seamus Gunn discussed the game changer that would have been a Plea bargain if the District Attorney for Davidson County, Gary Frank had acceded to this approach from the Defence. He was of the view that a manslaughter conviction would carry a sentence of between 51 and 64 months and that the couple having to date served 44 months, such a result could have meant that a further 2 years would be the maximum that they would serve for the crime. He explained that the DA had backed away from this and neither confirmed or denied it, but that it was common knowledge in the reporting and the media that there had been some discussion and that as an option it was being examined. He gave some insight into the different optics of the case in the USA and in Ireland, in particular in Limerick where Jason Corbett’s 2 children currently reside with an aunt and uncle. He explained the 2 points being relied on by the Defence to seek a retrial in that they claimed that relevant evidence being statements from the 2 children, now aged 16 and 14 were not admitted at the initial trial and that there was also a question mark of a blood stain. He said that the children’s statements could be a double-edged sword, as on their return to Limerick, while they had recanted the initial statements in the USA, they had furnished much more fulsome statements when back in Ireland. He was of the view that a retrial was the right result, but he had serious misgivings as to whether a retrial would result in a change in the verdict herein. He said that the Martens could be faced with the prospect of having to return to jail, they both being now released on bail.
There will obviously be more to follow whenever a date for the retrial is set. The Questions and Answers session that followed was as usual, wide, and varied and can be listened to online.
Listen to the full interview below: