Special Criminal Court

(Pictured: Colin Casey. Credit: Collins)

Two men have been jailed in connection with the “execution” of Aidan “The Beast” O’Driscoll, who was killed on a busy Cork street in a “well-planned” hit as part of an internal dispute between the Real IRA and the New IRA.

Mr O’Driscoll was leaving work when he was confronted by a gunman who fired a shot into him. He tried to run from his assailant and the first attacker’s gun appeared to jam but a second gunman followed and shot him, the Special Criminal Court heard.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that that the ….read more

Two men who were “in joint control” of 167kg of explosives found inside a car – enough to make a bomb three quarters as large as the one detonated in Omagh in 1998 – have been jailed for total of fifteen-and-a-half years.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt also told defendant John Brock (46), who has a previous conviction before the Special Criminal Court, that “the time has now come for him to cut this out” and that he could avail of an 18-month sentence reduction if he undertook to dissociate from dissidents.

Mr Justice Hunt said today that the explosives weighed ….read more

(Pictured: Dessie O’Hare. Credit: Collins)

Former INLA man Dessie O’Hare, who was known as “The Border Fox”, has been jailed by the Special Criminal Court for seven years for evicting a family from their home and for leading a “disturbingly violent” attack on another man.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt said today that the violent side of O’Hare’s personality was not in remission and was “a source of continuing concern”. His threat to society had “not completely abated”, he remarked.

O’Hare was an “enthusiastic participant” in the assault of one man and admitted he had been employed to carry out ….read more

Journalist Diarmaid MacDermott covered the 1988 trial of Dessie O’Hare when he was jailed for 40 years for the kidnap of dentist John O’Grady in 1987. Here he remembers the dramatic sentence hearing.

I was in court today when Dessie O’Hare, the so called “Border Fox”, self-confessed mass murderer, would-be extortionist, criminal and torturer, was sent back to jail for seven years by the Special Criminal Court.

I had sat in the same court 31 years ago, then based at the imposing and historic Green Street courthouse, when O’Hare was jailed for 40 years for the barbaric torture and imprisonment of dentist ….read more

A man has pleaded guilty at the non-jury Special Criminal Court to possessing four kilograms of the explosive TNT and a hand grenade.

Declan McDermott, whose address and date-of-birth is not before the court, was charged with knowingly possessing an explosive substance to wit ten 400 gram blocks of TNT and the explosive head of an RGD33 hand grenade at Spring Garden St, Dublin 3, on June 2, 2017.

Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC told the three-judge court today that McDermott will not require his trial date, which had been fixed for later this month, and he could instead be arraigned on ….read more

A “naive” man made a “catastrophic error of judgment” when he opened the gates of his father’s quarry, allowing commercial explosives to be taken away by members of the IRA, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

The three-judge court was also told today that the defendant was “the least likely person” to end up before it, had been “taken advantage of” and was in fear for his life.

Larry Behan (41), of Eaton Close, Rathcoole, Co Dublin pleaded guilty in March to knowingly rendering assistance to the IRA in the possession of explosives at L. Behan Aggregates & Recycling Centre, ….read more

A Dublin man who was arrested with a loaded gun in Dublin’s north inner city was “an important and trusted member” of an organised crime gang, the non-jury Special Criminal Court has heard.

The three-judge court was told today that the defendant was under surveillance as he cycled along the banks of the Royal Canal, carrying a revolver wrapped in a plastic bag under his arm.

Paul Beatty (32), with an address at Eugene Street, Dublin 8 admitted last December to unlawful possession of a .38 special calibre Smith & Wesson revolver at Charlemont Parade, Dublin 3 on June 2, 2018. The ….read more

Three men charged with having a submachine gun, handguns and ammunition with intent to endanger life will face trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court next year.

Gary Thompson (34), with an address at Plunkett Green in Finglas, Dublin 11, his brother Glen Thompson (23), of Plunkett Drive, also in Finglas, and Robert Browne (35), of Phibsboro Road in Phibsboro, Dublin 7 are charged with unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life at Belmont Hall Apartments, Gardiner Street, Dublin 1 on March 10, 2018.

It is alleged the men had four firearms in their possession – a ….read more

A Dublin man who was originally charged with having TNT and a hand grenade has pleaded guilty at the non-jury Special Criminal Court to helping an unlawful organisation with the possession of an explosive.

John O’Brien (56), of North Great Clarence Street, Dublin 1, is charged with knowingly rendering assistance to an unlawful organisation, in the furtherance of an unlawful object, to wit, possession of an explosive substance under such circumstances as to give rise to a reasonable suspicion that it was not in its possession for a lawful object, at his home address on June 2 2017.

The offence ….read more

The total amount of explosives found in a car on the Naas Road in Dublin three years ago equated to almost three quarters of the amount used in the Omagh bombing, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

John Roche (55), of Bridgefoot Street, Dublin 8 and John Brock (46), with an address at Cushlawn Park, Tallaght, Dublin 24, were last week found guilty of possessing 167kg of explosives in the boot of a car on the Naas Road in Dublin 12, on April 13, 2016.

They had both pleaded not guilty.

Delivering judgement last week, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that the facts ….read more

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