A bench warrant has been issued at Dundalk Circuit Court for the arrest of a Co Louth man who applied for a false passport in his own name, which had a photo similar to another passport applied for by Daniel Kinahan.
Seamus Walsh (43) with an address at Mountain View Crescent, Dundalk was due to appear before the court on Tuesday for the finalisation of his sentencing for the sale of his passport.
However, Judge Dara Hayes issued a bench warrant after he was told Mr Walsh had informed his solicitor that he would be attending his aunt’s funeral instead.
The court was initially told the defence was trying to establish the name of Mr Walsh’s aunt, so gardaí could verify the funeral was taking place.
However, it was later told that his legal team had tried to contact him throughout the morning and his mobile phone was turned off.
Defence barrister Ronan O’Carroll BL, who noted a phone would be turned off during a funeral, said it was very unfortunate and added he must stress that his client has always appeared to meet the case in the past.
Judge Hayes in issuing the bench warrant said Mr Walsh “ought to have made better and fuller communication with his solicitor”.
In February, Det Gda Feilim McKenna told the court the passport photo, on the passport issued to Mr Walsh in December 2011, did not match the photo on the defendant’s Public Services Card.
Instead, it matched another passport application for Daniel Joseph Kinahan who is suspected of being a senior figure in organised crime. The passport in Seamus Walsh’s name was revoked in October 2017.
The defendant, who attended Dundalk Garda station voluntarily in August 2018, said he had a heroin addiction at the time, and had sold the passport document to a man for €2,000 when he “was off his head on drugs”.
Det Gda McKenna confirmed that Mr Walsh had no association with Daniel Kinahan or organised crime.
In adjourning the case, Judge Hayes had directed that the defence produce three urinalysis reports and an updated report on Mr Walsh’s mother’s medical conditions but he warned him a custodial sentence was a very real possibility.
When the case was first called on Tuesday and Judge Hayes was informed the defendant was “burying a family member”, the court was told that the urinalysis documents had been produced and there was an updated report in respect of Mr Walsh’s mother, for whom an earlier hearing was told he acts as a carer.
However, Judge Hayes said the report suggested the defendant’s mother has been in a nursing home since August last year.