The High Court has dismissed Limerick man John Dundon’s bid to have his trial for the murder of rugby player Shane Geoghegan adjourned.
Mr Justice John Hedigan cleared the way for the trial to start next Tuesday.
However, lawyers for Mr Dundon are to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.
Mr Dundon, 29, with an address at Limerick, is due to stand trial for the murder of Mr Geoghegan on 9 November, 2008 before the non-jury Special Criminal Court.
He had brought High Court proceedings over the Special Criminal Courts refusal to adjourn his case until 2014.
He sought the adjournment because his lawyers claim they have not been given sufficient time to go through the large volume of material, including CCTV footage and documentation, about the case furnished to them by gardaí.
That material was only furnished in recent weeks, and his lawyers said they need more time to go through it.
They claim they require some 500 working hours to go through the material. Their inability to find what is relevant to Mr Dundon’s defence creates a risk of an unfair trial.
The State objected to the adjournment because of concerns over the security of a proposed prosecution witness in the case. The SCC ruled the trial should commence on 4 June.
Arising out of that refusal, Mr Dundon brought a High Court action against the Special Criminal Court.
He claimed the SCC erred in law and breached both fair procedures and Mr Dundon’s constitutional rights by refusing to grant an adjournment.
Mr Dundon sought a number of orders and declarations including that the decision not to grant an adjournment be quashed.
He is also sought a temporary injunction preventing his trial from commencing until his High Court action has been determined.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, which is a notice party, has opposed the application.
The DPP argued Mr Dundon’s application should be dismissed. It claimed that there much of the material disclosed to the defence was not relevant.
In his ruling, Mr Justice Hedigan dismissed all grounds of Mr Dundon’s application, and refused to grant him permission to challenge the SCC’s decision.
The High Court, the judge added, should be very slow to intervene with trials, and even then any intervention should be in very limited circumstances.
The judge said in this case he was satisfied the SCC had not erred in law or fact when it refused to adjourn the trial. It was entitled to refuse the adjournment application.
Mr Justice Hedigan said he was further satisfied the SCC had “carefully considered,” all the relevant material before making its decision.
Referring to the difficulties allegedly caused by the timing and volume of the disclosed material, the judge said that any difficulty that may arise during the trial, which could lead to risk of that process being unfair trial, could be administered by the SCC itself.
Following the ruling, Mr Dundon’s lawyers went before the Supreme Court to apply for an early hearing date for the appeal.
It is expected the matter will be mentioned again before the Supreme Court next week.