Court told critically ill Cllr Sean McEniff ‘is not going to get better’

seanmceniffA case linked to Ireland’s longest-serving serving politician, who is severely ill, was further adjourned today(Fri) with a warning from the judge that he will keep a tight rein on defence counsel.

Judge Paul Kelly was told 81-year-old Donegal county Councillor Sean McEniff was still in intensive care at the Mater private Hospital.

Solicitor Gerry McGovern, representing Mr McEniff who is required as a defence witness, told a special sitting of Ballyshannon District Court: “He is not going to get better.”

He said defence counsel Johnnie McCoy, BL, knew this and his clients also knew it. He added: “This man is critically ill. I don’t know where Mr McCoy is going with this. Nothing seems to be acceptable to him.”

Mr McEniff, who has served as a politician in local politics for 55 years including on now-defunct Bundoran town council, has been in intensive care since he was flown back to Ireland from Gran Canaria in an induced coma following an accident in October.

He is not a prosecution witness, but the defence wants him to give evidence in a case where three members of one family face charges on an incident in a car park outside Bundoran council offices on February 10, 2014.

Former Bundoran Town Councillor Florence McNulty, 56, of The Palace, Main Street, Bundoran, has denied assaulting Garda Helen Munnelly.

Her son Joseph McNulty , 34, of  Doran Close, Bundoran, and her husband Thomas McNulty, 57, of Main Street, Bundoran, have  denied abusive or insulting behaviour on the same date.

The prosecution and most defence evidence was delivered in previous hearings. The defence still want to call Mr McEniff for evidence.

Following a hearing last week when the court was told Mr McEniff  would be unlikely ever to provide evidence, and definitely not for at least three months, the judge promised to deliver a decision on the issue of his evidence today.

Following a dispute between Mr McCoy and Mr McGovern over whether Mr McEniff would ever be able to give evidence, the judge asked for an update on medical details of the Councillor's condition.

Mr McCoy rejected an offer of Mr McEniff’s statement to gardai being read in court.

Judge Kelly told him he wouldn’t be able to cross-examine his own witness. He told Mr McCoy: “If Mr McEniff does get to court I will keep a very tight rein on you.”

He further adjourned the hearing to January 27 for an updated medical report on Mr McEniff.