Wednesday 20 March 2019

Violent criminal hired to intimidate security man jailed

Donal O’Hara admitted false imprisonment and assault
Donal O’Hara admitted false imprisonment and assault

A Dubliner on bail for a violent burglary was part of a mob recruited to intimidate a man in dispute with his employer, a court heard.

The Special Criminal Court was told Donal O'Hara (26) was recruited as "brawn" to put pressure on Martin Byrne, whose employer wanted him out of the home that went with his security job.

O'Hara, of Glin Park, Coolock, admitted falsely imprisoning Mr Byrne at Rathcoole and at The Towers, Saggart, where the victim lived with his family, on June 9, 2015.

He also admitted assaulting John Roche, a neighbour, who refused to open the gates.

The false imprisonment of Mr Byrne's wife Lisa and another person on the same date was taken into consideration.

At the time of the offences, O'Hara was on bail awaiting sentence for a violent burglary. He was jailed for 12 years, with seven suspended, for that crime in October 2015.

Sentencing O'Hara, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said he was part of a large group of men who had been engaged with the purpose of intimidating Mr Byrne.


The judge said O'Hara was an "enthusiastic and substantial contributor" to the assault on Mr Roche.

However, he accepted that the defendant was "the brawn and not the brains" in the offences against Mr Byrne.

O'Hara was sentenced to three years with one year suspended for both counts, to run concurrently but consecutive to his previous sentence.

He will be under the supervision of the Probation Service for two years after his release.

Mr Justice Hunt told O'Hara he needed to "get his act to- gether" as he was "shaping up to a lifetime of these occasions" if he does not "put himself right".

At O'Hara's sentence hearing on May 31, Det Sgt Maeve O'Sullivan said that when O'Hara was arrested in a local restaurant, Mr Roche's blood was found on his clothing and the sole of his shoes.

Michael O'Higgins, for O'Hara, said there were brains and brawn in this "disgraceful and indefensible" event, but his client was "of the brawn variety".

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