Mountjoy, a car dealer, was committed to prison where he would begin a two-month sentence for violation of court orders and an undertaking prohibiting him from interfering with a receiver’s work.
Ohan Alex Kane (47) was taken from the premises of four courts by members of the En Garda Ciocana today after a high court judge said she was not in a position to agree to an order that had landed her in prison. .
Ms Justice Miriam O’Regan ordered against Mr Kane after he failed to appear before court for a contempt hearing last November, asking him to isolate and wait for a COVID-19 test. claimed.
Granard, Mr Kane of Longford, was charged in 2017 with contempt of court orders not to intimidate or discourage the work of Miles Kirby, a receiver appointed by revenue commissioners.
Mr Kirby is attempting to sell 14 properties belonging to Mr Kane in order to satisfy a 2009 €4.9m decision on non-payment of tax on car sales.
He was previously held in contempt of court in July 2019 by then-President of the High Court, Peter Kelly, but served a two-month prison term after Mr Kane pledged not to interfere with Mr Kirby’s work. was put.
However, Mr Kirby claimed those undertakings had been violated and that his lawyers had made an application to the High Court to re-activate the two-month jail term.
Despite his failure to appear before court last November, the case proceeded in his absence, and Justice O’Regan ordered that Mr Kane be jailed for contempt.
Ms Justice O’Regan said she was satisfied the sentence was activated and that Mr Kane’s presence had not been adequately explained.
Two days before Christmas, Mr. Kane returned to the High Court when his lawyers asked Mr. Justice Brian O’Moore to temporarily stay Justice O’Regan’s decision.
An adjournment was sought to allow an appeal to be filed in the Court of Appeal against the order to imprison Mr. Kane.
Mr Kane claimed that he had not been able to appear in court on the previous occasion due to concerns over COVID-19 and was unable to log on remotely due to a technical issue.
Gary McCarthy SC for Mr Kirby said his client did not oppose a brief adjournment to allow Mr Kane to make a formal application for a stay.
The lawyer expressed his client’s concerns about the application, and said that after the verdict in November, Mr. Kane had absconded from the jurisdiction.
The lawyer said the legal deadline given to Mr. Kane to appeal against the sentence had expired in December.
The matter returned to Ms. O’Regan today after Mr. Kane formally asked the court to continue with the adjournment.
The judge said she could not stay the last November order, adding that the proceedings before the high court regarding the contempt of court application have been completed.
Any application for a stay of sentence, pending the outcome of any appeal, was a matter for the court of appeal, the judge said.
Mr McCarthy said Mr Kirby was no longer consenting to the stay.
Following the court’s ruling, Mr Kane said he was being “bullyed” and that it was “unfair” that he had to go to jail before an appeals hearing.
He said he was not able to present his side of the events before the court, adding that he attended all but two of the 120 court hearings he was scheduled to appear before.
He said that while he would be able to serve the prison term, he added that his imprisonment would adversely affect others.
Mr Kane, who represented himself in the proceedings, said he was unable to get lawyers to continue to act for him for financial reasons.
He said he could not afford to pay lawyers the “bags of cash” needed to secure representation in the High Court proceedings and asked the court to give them legal aid.
The judge replied that the court did not have the authority to pass such an order.
Earlier, the High Court had heard that Mr. Kirby’s claim that Mr. Kane had tried to intimidate potential buyers, and had involved criminal damages, arson, and attempts to poison animal feed and milk.
Mr Kane denies the allegations.