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Thursday 19 October 2017

'I didn't say I was in IRA' - Dowdall disputes evidence

Jonathan Dowdall said he would ‘never contemplate’ making threats to the family of Alexander Hurley
Jonathan Dowdall said he would ‘never contemplate’ making threats to the family of Alexander Hurley

A former Sinn Fein councillor who tortured a man in his garage has denied the victim was told that he was in the IRA and a friend of Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald.

Jonathan Dowdall (40) insists some of the evidence in the case is incorrect.

He does not accept prosecution assertions that references were made to the IRA and the two Sinn Fein politicians during the victim's ordeal.

He also maintains that the imprisonment did not last for three hours and that he did not threaten his family.

Late

He made the claims through his lawyer as he was due to be sentenced at the Special Criminal Court.

Evidence and mitigation had been heard earlier this month.

Michael O'Higgins, defending, asked for a new hearing to be held if the disputed evidence was going to add to Dowdall's sentence.

Vincent Heneghan, prosecuting, said it was "far too late" and asked the court to proceed.

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy adjourned the case for further submissions on May 30.

Dowdall was remanded in custody along with his father, Patrick (60), who is also to be sentenced for his part in the crime and who is making the same claims about the evidence.

The father and son, both of Navan Road, Dublin 7, pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning and threatening to kill Alexander Hurley at their home on January 15, 2015.

The court previously heard Jonathan Dowdall suspected Mr Hurley of conning him over a motorbike sale.

It was said Mr Hurley pleaded for his life as Jonathan Dowdall covered his face with a cloth and poured water on his head while Patrick threatened to cut his fingers off with pliers.

Mr O'Higgins said that the accused was wrong in what he did, but he did not accept some aspects of the evidence.

There were references to him having a position in the IRA and that he was friends with Mr Adams and Ms McDonald, and these were not accepted.

It was also suggested his client threatened the victim's family, but he would "never contemplate making such a threat".

Mr Heneghan said the State had relied on the book of evidence, which was "long served" on the accused and the evidence had not been contested.

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