Essex lorry deaths: NI man appears in Dublin court

A man from Northern Ireland has appeared at the High Court in Dublin in connection with the deaths of 39 people in a lorry container in Essex.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 2:28 pm
Thirty-nine people were found dead in the lorry last month

Eamonn Harrison, 22, from Mayobridge in Newry, Co Down, appeared today for mention regarding a European arrest warrant to have him transferred to the UK.

He wore a grey sweatshirt, tracksuit bottoms and glasses, and did not speak throughout the proceedings.

During the hearing Tony McGillicuddy, instructed by Paul Tiernan Solicitors, applied for senior counsel representation for Harrison, who he said has an “income of modest means”, which Mr Justice Binchy, presiding over the case, said he thought was suitable.

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The court will make recommendations to cover the services of a solicitor, a junior and a senior counsel to represent Harrison.

No application for bail has been made, however draft points of objection to the arrest warrant have been assembled and will be submitted to the court by Friday.

Mr McGillicuddy said the points of objection are regarding the contents of the warrant and “uncertainties and conflicts that Mr Harrison argues arises in the warrant itself”.

Harrison was arrested on a domestic, unrelated matter at Dublin Port in October, which has since been resolved.

He has been in Cloverhill prison since his initial arrest and will return to court in Dublin on November 21.

Police have since released the names of all 39 people who were found dead in the refrigerated lorry in Grays last month.

Among them are two 15-year-old boys, Dinh Dinh Binh from Hai Phong and Nguyen Huy Hung from Ha Tinh, as well as 26-year-old Pham Thi Tra My, who sent a final text message home saying she could not breathe.

So far, two people have been charged over the tragedy in the UK.

Maurice ‘Mo’ Robinson, 25, from Craigavon, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on October 28 charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.

Detectives have also urged Ronan Hughes, 40, and his brother Christopher, 34, from Co Armagh, said to have links with the road haulage and shipping industries, to hand themselves in.