THE retrial of Cross farmer Padraig Nally (pictured) for the murder of traveller John ‘Frog’ Warde has been fixed for December 4 in the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.
The announcement on Monday has caught most observers by surprise as it had been speculated last week after Mr Nally’s release from prison that an April date in 2007 was the most likely for the re-trial of one of the most talked about criminal cases in recent times.
The decision to host the trial outside of Mayo will also anger many of Mr Nally’s staunchest supports who felt the re-trial should have taken place back in Castlebar where the 62 year old farmer could have been tried once again by a jury of his peers.
But one Mayo solicitor stated on Monday evening that it was always more likely that the re-trial would be held in Dublin given the huge media interest in the trial and the need to have a ‘neutral jury’.
“There is not a person in Mayo who does not have a strong opinion on the Nally case and it was always more likely that the trial would be heard in Dublin where people without preconceived opinions will be more easily found,” said the solicitor.
A spokesperson for the Padraig Nally Support Group stated that they were ‘surprised’ that the re-trial was taking place so soon but they did not want to make any further comment until a a meeting of their members had been held.
Mr Nally was released from custody on October 12 after the Court of Criminal Appeal overturned his six year conviction for the murder of Mr Warde. He had served 11 months of the six year sentence.