Devane: assaulted

GARDAí in Limerick have not yet ruled out the possibility of pursuing the criminal who assaulted controversial solicitor John Devane two weeks ago as CCTV footage of the attack may provide enough evidence to charge him.

Moments after Devane was attacked in Limerick courthouse 11 days ago, he told Judge Tom O'Donnell he had been assaulted in the court lobby and was "too upset to go on". Despite facing mounting pressure to make a formal statement , Devane has said he will not as "all that will happen is I will end up being another statistic. I was told outside the courthouse immediately after the assault by a person present that if I make a statement to the gardaí, I'm a dead man walking."

However, if CCTV footage is clear enough, it may not be essential that Devane make a formal complaint to gardaí. "If the CCTV is of good enough quality, we could charge this individual and then Mr Devane could be called as a witness. It is not the ideal scenario; it would be much easier if Mr Devane would make a statement, but he does not seem willing to do so. Hopefully he changes his mind," said a garda source. He added that no witnesses have come forward.

Steve Collins, whose innocent 34-year-old son Roy was shot dead in April, said Devane's refusal to come forward "can only do damage to what we have achieved". The president of the Limerick Bar Association, Elizabeth Walsh, described it as "unbelievable" that Devane would not make a statement, warning that if people did not assist the gardaí, law and order would "descend into anarchy".

Last month, the Sunday Tribune revealed that the Law Society is investigating Devane for allegedly passing on inappropriate information to a client involved in crime. Gardaí have completed a probe into these claims.