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Jimmy 'wanted to go' to slain RIRA chief Ryan's funeral, court is told

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Jim Mansfield Jnr at the Criminal Courts of Justice

Jim Mansfield Jnr at the Criminal Courts of Justice

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Jim Mansfield Jnr at the Criminal Courts of Justice

A former employee of Jim Mansfield Jnr, who claims the businessman set him up to be falsely imprisoned, has told the Special Criminal Court he went to the funeral of murdered Real IRA leader Alan Ryan on behalf of the accused.

Alleged victim Martin Byrne (53), who is now in the Witness Protection Programme, said Mr Mansfield had wanted to attend himself.

"Jimmy wanted to go to the funeral and that is the truth," he told the accused's counsel.

Mr Byrne also denied yesterday that at the time of the alleged offence he was solely working for a convicted fraudster or that he was "over-egging" his involvement with Mr Mansfield Jnr. The witness also denied having any contacts in the IRA.

Mr Mansfield Jnr (53), of Tasaggart House, Garters Lane, Saggart, Co Dublin, is accused of conspiring with one or more persons to falsely imprison Martin Byrne on a date unknown between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015, both dates inclusive.

He is also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by directing Patrick Byrne to destroy CCTV footage.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to both offences.

Under cross-examination yesterday from defence counsel Bernard Condon SC, for Mr Mansfield Jnr, Mr Byrne denied he was solely working for convicted fraudster James O'Gorman.

He insisted he mostly worked for Mr Mansfield Jnr but also worked for O'Gorman.

James O'Gorman, of Maplewood Park, Tallaght, was convicted of defrauding a company director out of €54,000 at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in 2007.

Counsel for Mr Mansfield Jnr put it to Mr Byrne that he had "introduced the Real IRA into events" by bringing in contacts and associates of his from the Real IRA. Mr Byrne said he had no contacts in the IRA nor "in any IRA".

Affairs

Mr Condon asked the witness if he knew Nathan Kinsella, who was jailed by the Special Criminal Court for IRA membership in 2014, and another man, who the barrister said had sought "to inveigle themselves" into affairs in Citywest.

Mr Byrne said he had been asked to meet Kinsella by the other man.

The lawyer put it to the witness that he was "so closely involved" with the IRA he had been asked to take up a position with them, when the south Leinster brigade of the IRA was attempting to take over the activities of the Dublin brigade.

Mr Byrne said he did not recall this as "loads of things" were happening between the Real IRA and the New IRA in Saggart.

Mr Condon put it to the witness that him purporting not to remember this was a lie, as the IRA do not ask "passers by" to take over another brigade. and only approach "trusted members".

"Why would I need to be a part of it, I had a successful job, family and a career. Why would I want to be involved in something I knew nothing about," replied Mr Byrne.

The key prosecution witness acknowledged to Mr Condon he had spoken to CAB about Kinsella using Tasaggart House as a meeting house for his benefit and that O'Gorman had enjoyed extra people being about The Towers in Saggart.

Mr Condon suggested most of the people living in The Towers were associated with O'Gorman. Mr Byrne agreed this was the case but said these people were working on behalf of O'Gorman and the accused.

The witness acknowledged that he and his family had been on holidays in Puerto Rico several times as guests of O'Gorman, which was paid for through his company.

Mr Byrne said he knew of murdered Real IRA leader Alan Ryan, who was shot dead in north Dublin in 2012, but did not know him personally.

The witness agreed he had gone to a meeting in the Maldron Hotel in Tallaght, where he had witnessed Ryan assault someone. Following the assault, Mr Byrne said Ryan had given him a lift to Saggart to meet Kinsella.

The witness told Mr Condon that he went to Ryan's funeral in Donaghmede in Dublin in September 2012 on behalf of his employer Mr Mansfield Jnr.

Mr Byrne said he was contacted after Mr Mansfield Senior's funeral in January 2014 by Gareth Byrne, who has a conviction for IRA membership, and another man from the Continuity IRA to set up an urgent meeting with O'Gorman.

Safety

Mr Condon put it to the witness that he was asked to go to this meeting on behalf of O'Gorman. Mr Byrne replied that this meeting "was in conjunction" with Mr Mansfield Jnr and O'Gorman.

Mr Byrne agreed he had told CAB he had become concerned for his and the accused's safety after December 2013 as there was a "power struggle" between the south Leinster and Dublin brigades of the IRA and Tasaggart House had become the meeting place for these individuals.

The barrister put it to the witness that O'Gorman was carrying on activities unbeknownst to the accused.

"Jimmy would have known what was going on, he was there every day," replied Mr Byrne.

The trial continues today.


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