No Property In Witnesses


Diarmuid Rossa Phelan is accused of murdering Keith Conlon (36) at Hazelgrove Farm, Kiltalown Lane, Tallaght, on February 22 last

This afternoon.


Lawyers representing a senior barrister charged with the murder of a father of four have been granted permission by the Court of Appeal to request interviews with four eyewitnesses in the case.

…court president Mr Justice George Birmingham was told that lawyers representing Diarmuid Rossa Phelan wanted to interview a group of witnesses to the fatal shooting, but the State was objecting to the request because the Book of Evidence had yet to be served on the accused.

…Granting the defence application, Mr Justice Birmingham said the three-judge court could “see no objection” in the request from Mr Phelan’s solicitors to contact the four student witnesses for the purpose of an interview…

“It is accepted by all sides of the court that there is no property of a witness. That is beyond dispute,” the judge said.


Murder charge barrister Diarmuid Rossa Phelan’s solicitors granted permission to speak to eyewitnesses (

Previously: Refused Bail

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58 thoughts on “No Property In Witnesses

  1. David langwallner

    One hopes that the interview of the witnesses before a book of evidence virtually unheard of is carefully scrutinised but as Alexander pope said hope springs eternal in the human heart

    Property can always be bought?

    1. johnny

      Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
      Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
      Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
      ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
      But he that filches from me my good name
      Robs me of that which not enriches him,
      And makes me poor indeed.

      1. Hughie Luas

        Wasn’t he allegedly involved in an incident in Wexford recently? It disappeared very quickly off the Indo’s Wexford People website….

    2. TenPin Terry

      One thing is for certain Mr Langwallner is the total expert here.
      The rest of youse are barrack room lawyers.
      O’Rumpole is the real deal.
      I rest my case™

    3. Kin

      I have never in my life have heard of this before the state granting an alleged perpetrator of a crimes legal team to interview or interrogate eye witnesses to a crime

      Let’s put it this way would the state permit the legal team representing the kinehans the right to interview eye witnesses to one of their murders.

      1. jonjoker

        Well the State will find it difficult to refuse from now on.

        Of course, I assume that there is no obligation on the witnesses to be interviewed by the defendant’s barristers. On top of that, if they were to be interviewed without representation they would be most foolish, in my opinion; and to do so with representation would incur a cost on the witnesses; unless such representation was paid for by the defendant; which would surely invalidate the exercise?
        If someone with legal training is reading this, maybe they could consider these matters.

  2. Hughie Luas

    O’Higgins, Bermingham, and Phelan all competing in the “I’m a lawyer, you know, so I’ll set the precedent here” competition for the benefit of other lawyers.

    Interviewed by a solicitor? Why? Do you even need a leaving cert to be a solicitor? Most of them are failed Guards.

    1. JB

      No fan of solicitors or guards here, but this a weapons-grade moronic comment. Pathetic stuff, Hughie Luas.

      1. Hughie Luas

        Apologies. Let me correct that, having looked up the CSO stats.

        Most of them are failed Guards. Most of them studied English and History in Trinity College Dublin.

        1. jonjoker

          I think that’s the barristers, Hughie, most solicitors do a BCL or LLB or similar.

        1. toby 32

          I thought he was an American
          Remember Europe discovered the new world(maybe Vikings or Egyptians but lets say Europeans and colonised it with a nation of morons

  3. Flossie

    Is it seriously normal practice in Ireland to allow the defence loose on prosecution witnesses before a murder trial? If it isn’t normal practice why does this case justify an exception. It’s a pretty lilly livered prosecutor that concedes with the words “there is no property in a witness”. Might it have been different if the defendant was not a member of the legal ‘establishment’

    1. Hughie Luas

      And these “witnesses” (or 80% of them) were in the employment of the accused?

    2. Cú Chulainn

      There is no ‘defence’ or ‘prosecution’ witness who is a witness, as compared to an ‘opinion’.. just the pursuit of the truth.. it’s kind of fundamental to justice as we understand it..

  4. joan nolan

    I have never in my entire career working in the justice department seen this been allowed by a judge, this is interfering with witnesses before a trial and should NOT be allowed. It is utter disgraceful and the prosecution needs to stop this happening.

    1. Andrew

      What’s your actual legal objection? What do you do in the Department of Justice? Are you paid for your legal expertise?

      1. Sara

        Mad hates travellers. He basically hates anyone who isn’t straight, middle-class, christian, and white.

        1. Mad

          How can I hate travellers?
          Jesus’ da and ma were travellers.
          It’s funny Sara, you are the only and first one who mentioned or speculated on the ethnicity of the victim, prior to your intervention I had not been aware that this case of a trespasser getting accidentally shot while illegally trespassing was part of a wider tale of systematic oppression. That’s right. No idea.

          1. freddy8toes

            He’s not a traveller at all. I grew up with him, same age as him. Couldn’t stand him, not a nice guy.. but not a traveller.

          1. No Mask On Your Face, A Big Disgrace, Spreadin Yer Germs All Over the Place

            Touché (or is it Touchy?)

    1. Andrew

      So am I. It has echoes of the Padraig Nally case.
      There’s a lot of inverse snobbery going on because he is a barrister.

  5. GiggidyGoo

    – allowed a break from custody to have a knees up or whatever
    – allowed to skip attending court in July over the assault on Kevin McHale
    – allowed access to witnesses to question them prior to court

    This guy has it all going for him. Great isn’t it! For a guy who shot someone, and charged with murder.

    1. Mad

      It sounds like he has an intricate knowledge of how the legal system works: not saying it’s right or wrong but is it really that surprising?

    2. Denise

      Exactly one rule for people and another for everyone else, Will Michael O Higgins do the same for all his other clients and will the judge allow everyone do this from now on or is it just for barristers.

  6. Fearganainm

    A very special court indeed, for shooting a fleeing man in the back of the head.

  7. Niall

    The defence can request interviews but presumably the witnesses can decline those requests?

    1. Mad

      It feels like the fact it has the sanction of a court might give it greater importance but I defer to those with the legal knowledge

  8. Steph Pinker

    Like it or not – as I’ve posted before – private property is private property and this wasn’t an isolated incident by the perpetrator(s); hence the *request* for eyewitnesses here or abroad.

    If a person lives in fear of people infringing, abusing, bullying or intimidating their mind, body, personal space or property then they have the *right* to use the law if they feel threatened – which he obviously did.

    I doubt most capable people would allow themselves be intimidated or bullied incessantly over a long period of time by undesirables without being forced to take a stand.

    A person can only take so much.

  9. AB

    He was excuses from the assault case in July because of covid, accuses people did not have to attend mention dates.

  10. Boe_Jiden

    the idea that people should be out defending there property like its the wild west is insane, he should have stayed indoors and called the garda thats what there for

  11. Denise

    Exactly one rule for people who are friends with judges like Birmingham and another for everyone else, Will Michael O Higgins do the same for all his other clients and will the judge allow everyone do this from now on or is it just barristers who murder people.

    Phelan threatened lots more people including his family and they all need to make a complaint against him. To threaten someone is an assault and he has assaulted so many people recently , hopefully they all come forward and report him

    1. Mad

      Actually sounds like a really stupid and scurrilous scumbag attempt to damage his character. You are probably helping his defence here as he can point to comments like yours and ask how he will ever get a fair trial. Fool

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