Saturday 19 October 2019

'Border Fox' pleads guilty to assault and false imprisonment

Dessie O’Hare was a notorious criminal in The Troubles
Dessie O’Hare was a notorious criminal in The Troubles

Former INLA man Dessie O'Hare, who was known as the 'Border Fox', has pleaded guilty at the non-jury Special Criminal Court to assault and false imprisonment in Dublin.

O'Hare (62), of Slate Rock Road, Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh, yesterday admitted assaulting John Roche, causing him harm, at The Towers, Garter Lane, Saggart, Co Dublin, on June 9, 2015.

He also pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning Martin Byrne at Rathcoole and Saggart on the same date.


Sean Guerin SC, defending, told the three-judge court that a trial would not be required and O'Hare could be arraigned on two of the counts.

The barrister said he would ask the court to take two other counts into consideration at the appropriate time.

Dressed in a shirt and tie, O'Hare stood up and faced the court. When the registrar read the two counts on the indictment to O'Hare and asked him how he was pleading, he replied "guilty" to both.

Shane Costelloe SC, prosecuting, said Mr Guerin had informed him that there were some outstanding matters on his side of the house. Following this, Mr Guerin said his client has had some engagement with "professionals" and the defence wanted to have up-to-date professional assistance for the sentence hearing.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge Ann Ryan, remanded the defendant on continuing bail with the same terms and conditions until April 3, when he will be sentenced.

As part of this investigation, gardai were searching for O'Hare who had fled to a bolthole in Co Armagh.

O'Hare was one of the most notorious criminals involved in The Troubles in the North and has been suspected of being involved in extortion activities more recently.

He was released under the Good Friday Agreement after being given a 40-year sentence for kidnapping and mutilating Dublin dentist John O'Grady in 1987 and was linked to multiple murders during The Troubles.

Gardai rescued Dr O'Grady, but O'Hare escaped. He was eventually caught after a shoot-out in Co Kilkenny.

O'Hare previously claimed that he had reformed, taken up yoga and attended a reconciliation centre in Co Wicklow.

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