THE re-trial of Padraig Nally, the Cross farmer who was convicted last year of the manslaughter of John ‘Frog’ Ward, will commence on Monday morning next in the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. Earlier this year the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the conviction of Mr Nally (pictured) for manslaughter and ordered a re-trial. It is expected to last four days.
In July last year, the 62-year-old farmer was jailed for six years for shooting dead 42-year-old Mr Ward. Mr Ward, a member of the travelling community and the father of eleven children, was shot twice and beaten with a stick after he entered Mr Nally’s farmyard on October 14, 2004.
Mr Nally’s lawyers had argued at his appeal that the trial judge, Mr Justice Paul Carney, had erred in law by not allowing the jury to consider a defence of full self-defence and by not allowing it to find Mr Nally not guilty. The judge had directed that the jury had to find Mr Nally guilty of murder or guilty of manslaughter. He made this ruling after an initial application by the prosecution counsel on the issue of self-defence.
The judgment by the three-judge Court of Criminal Appeal states that the issue of self-defence was a central issue at every stage of this case. The court said that had the prosecution allowed the trial to proceed in the usual manner, the trial judge would have given appropriate directions to the jury in the usual form.