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Tuesday 18 December 2018

Ex-INLA man told victim to get out or life was in jeopardy

Former INLA leader Declan ‘Whacker’ Duffy admitted assault. Photo: Courtpix
Former INLA leader Declan ‘Whacker’ Duffy admitted assault. Photo: Courtpix

A security guard was assaulted and warned he and his family had to move out of their house by a former paramilitary leader.

The Special Criminal Court heard the evidence during the sentencing hearing of former INLA boss Declan Duffy (44) and Christopher Maguire (39), who had pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning Martin Byrne in Rathcoole/Saggart, Co Dublin, on June 9, 2015.

Duffy, of Hanover Street West, Dublin, also admitted assaulting John Roche causing him harm at the Towers, Garters Lane, Saggart.

Maguire, of Dun Emer Place, Lusk, also pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning Lisa Byrne.

The court heard that Mr Byrne had become involved in a dispute with his employer regarding his and his wife's home at the Towers.

He had twice met Duffy after he had been asked by his employer to attend meetings at Keating's Park, Saggart.

It was at the second that he had been warned that if he did not co-operate his life would be in "jeopardy".

Punching

Mr Byrne had been met by seven men and they had forced him to drive to the Towers, where they had been refused entry by Mr Roche.

Once inside, they had told Mrs Byrne to leave, then went to Mr Roche's. He was assaulted, and CCTV footage also showed Duffy punching Mr Byrne twice.

Mr Byrne was taken to Mr Roche's property where an ear was cut and he was told to immediately leave his home.

A member of the public had seen the assault on Mr Roche and called 999.

Mr Byrne was ordered to go out and meet a garda, who recognised something was wrong. An aerial unit was called and the gang tried to escape.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Byrne said he was unemployed and "out of pocket" and his children had "lost their childhood" and he had to "live a clandestine life".

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge James Faughnan remanded Duffy in custody and Maguire on bail until January 29, when they will be sentenced.

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