Shocking Dowdall torture case shows Sinn Fein all about double standards
Last week, former Dublin city Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall and his father Patrick pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court to falsely imprisoning Alexander Hurley and making threats to his life.
Their victim called at the Dowdall home on Navan Road in January last year as a result of a motorcycle that Jonathan Dowdall had advertised for sale.
When Mr Hurley arrived he was falsely imprisoned, bundled into the garage, tied to a chair and subjected to a terrifying ordeal.
In a prolonged assault, he was tortured using "waterboarding". The practice of placing a towel and pouring buckets of water over the victim's head is intended to simulate the sensation of drowning. Mr Hurley was also told he would have his fingers chopped off "knuckle by knuckle".
The attack went on for at least three hours.
During his ordeal, Mr Hurley he was told time and again that he would be killed if he informed the gardai - he would be taken away and his body chopped up and fed to the dogs.
This scenario only came to light when a USB flash drive was found by gardai who searched the Dowdall house last year on an unrelated matter.
The motive given in court for the savage attack was that Jonathan Dowdall (39) suspected Mr Hurley of being a scammer who was out to "do him". He and his father Patrick (60) kept him in the garage as they tried to force a confession out of him, the court heard.
Jonathan Dowdall stood down as a Sinn Fein councillor in 2014.
He was described then by Mary Lou McDonald as "a hard worker who will be missed in his elected role by local constituents".
When questioned last week about Jonathan Dowdall, the Sinn Fein deputy leader was singing from a different hymn sheet.
"I welcome the conviction of Jonathan Dowdall in court. The details of the attack perpetrated by him are deeply shocking," she said.
This sordid and gruesome episode is deeply embarrassing for Sinn Fein and McDonald.
It has already led to a vicious dispute between her and Independent councillor and former Lord Mayor Christy Burke.
Before Jonathan Dowdall was convicted he was a blue-eyed boy and protege of McDonald. She was pictured in his company at least 30 times.
This case shows the duplicity of Sinn Fein and its leaders. McDonald and her leader, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, have in the past castigated the Special Criminal Court and campaigned for is abolition.
Now, because she has been tarnished by her close association with a convicted felon, she's quick to praise a result in the very court she wants to abolish.
This example of double standards and falsehood from Sinn Fein is what we've come to expect.
McDonald is a master at speaking out of both sides of her mouth at the same time.
Isn't it also telling and, indeed, chilling that Mr Hurley was threatened by Dowdall who said he was dealing with the IRA?
People would do well to remember when dealing with Sinn Fein the spectre of a gunman in the shadows and Mr Adams' words: "They haven't gone away, you know."