A DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions employee will go on trial charged with leaking confidential and sensitive information in connection with the Peter Butterly murder trial.

Jonathan Lennon (35), from Clonee, Dublin 15, was charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act in relation to criminal proceedings resulting from the murder of dissident republican Butterly.

He was shot dead in view of students waiting for their school bus on March 6, 2013, outside The Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath.

Mr Lennon faced his fourth hearing at Blanchardstown District Court yesterday.

Judge Gerard Jones previously ruled that “very sensitive” prosecution evidence must not be given directly to the accused and he can only look at it in his lawyer’s office.

An order for disclosure of prosecution evidence had been made at an earlier stage.

The father-of-three is accused of four offences contrary to the Official Secrets Act.

It is alleged that on September 7, 2017, and the following day, at a place unknown in Dublin and without authorisation, Mr Lennon communicated with another person, passing them official information relating to the prosecution of individuals arising from the murder of Butterly.

Judge Jones noted from the prosecution the trial would take two or three days and there was CCTV evidence.

He ordered that the case be heard at the Criminal Courts of Justice.

Defence counsel Padraig Langsch asked the judge not to set the trial date yet.

He said the defence received additional disclosure last week

that contained more than 380 pages.

It was also indicated to the defence there was some 12,000 pages of additional evidence to be served by the DPP on a USB memory stick.

A State solicitor said it was alleged the accused provided confidential information. The USB memory stick, containing 12,000 pages, also had extracts from the accused’s texts, he added.

The USB stick will be handed over to Mr Lennon’s lawyers within the next two days, the State solicitor confirmed.

Judge Jones held that this gave the defence plenty of time and he refused their application to delay fixing the trial date.

Three days in May were aside to hear the case.

Mr Lennon was present for the hearing but did not address the court.

The court heard senior counsel is to be retained by both sides.

Earlier, his solicitor Anne FitzGibbon had said she has received CCTV footage, memos of interviews and telephone records.

At Mr Lennon’s previous hearing he had been granted legal aid after the court heard that he worked for the DPP but has been suspended from his job and was getting €400 a week.

He had a family and a mortgage, the solicitor submitted.

In July 2018, at the Special Criminal Court, Dean Evans, (27), of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, Dublin, was given a mandatory life sentence for the murder of 35-year-old father-of-three Butterly who was from Dunleer, Co Louth.

Evans was extradited from Spain earlier this year after he spent 18 months on the run.

Also serving life sentences for Butterly’s murder are Edward McGrath (35) of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght and Sharif Kelly (47) of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan. set