herald

Monday 22 April 2019

'Border Fox' O'Hare jailed for seven years over false imprisonment and attack

Dessie O’Hare pleaded guilty
Dessie O’Hare pleaded guilty

Former INLA man Dessie 'The Border Fox' O'Hare has been jailed for seven years for his part in the assault of one man and false imprisonment of another during the eviction of a family from their Dublin home.

Sentencing him, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said O'Hare had been a "front man" in the attack and an "enthusiastic participant" in a "vicious assault".

He said the "violent side" of O'Hare's personality was "not in remission" and the threat to society posed by his "disposition to violence" had not completely abated.

O'Hare (62), of Slate Rock Road, Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh, pleaded guilty to assaulting John Roche, causing him harm, at The Towers, Garter Lane, Saggart, Co Dublin, on June 9, 2015. He also admitted falsely imprisoning Martin Byrne at Rathcoole and Saggart.

At the Special Criminal Court, O'Hare was given a 10-year sentence for false imprisonment, with three years suspended, and a concurrent three-year sentence for the assault.

The non-jury court heard O'Hare told gardai he was employed by businessman Jim Mansfield Jr to evict the Byrne family. Mr Byrne worked for the late Jim Mansfield Snr, who owned the Citywest Hotel.

He also lived in a house at The Towers, which became the subject of a dispute involving Jim Mansfield Jr.

Gang

The court heard Mr Mansfield Jr went with Mr Byrne to a meeting with two former INLA members - O'Hare and Declan 'Whacker' Duffy - and that when Mr Mansfield left the room, five more men came in.

Mr Byrne was forced into a car, assaulted and taken to his home. He pleaded to be given a few days to leave his home, but O'Hare told him he was to "get out right now".

The gang of seven men also assaulted John Roche, who had earlier refused to let them on to the premises. He was punched, kicked and stamped on while on the ground and O'Hare could be seen on CCTV kicking him four times.

Mr Justice Hunt said while O'Hare's actions were primarily directed toward Mr Roche, he continued to play a "supervisory role" in the imprisonment of Mr Byrne.

The damage done to the Byrne family was significant and members were still under witness protection, he said.

In mitigation, the judge noted the accused had pleaded guilty and made a written expression of remorse.

Mr Justice Hunt said the case indicated that "the violent side of Mr O'Hare's personality is not in remission".

"The threat represented to society by Mr O'Hare's disposition to violence has not completely abated," he added.

O'Hare had previous convictions for possession of a firearm in 1977 and assaulting a garda in 1979. He was given a 40-year jail sentence in 1988 for false imprisonment and assault causing grievous bodily harm. As a result of the Good Friday Agreement, he was released in October 2008.

Duffy was jailed for six years last year after pleading guilty to assaulting Mr Roche.

He also admitted falsely imprisoning Mr Byrne. Three other men have also been jailed for the attack.

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