Some Job Interview, a Father of Seven Children? Some Clowns never learn?

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Father of seven who thought he had job interview and took part in violent forced eviction is jailed

  8 hrs ago

Father of seven who thought he had job interview and took part in violent forced eviction is jailed

A father of seven who told gardaí he thought he was attending a job interview but ended up taking part in a violent forced eviction has been jailed for three years.

Desmond McGrath (50) was part of a gang of seven men, including convicted murderer Declan Duffy and INLA kidnapper Dessie O’Hare, also known as ‘The Border Fox’, who falsely imprisoned and tried to evict a family from their home.

McGrath also took part in the assault of a security guard who became involved in the incident, punching and kicking the man.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that five of the men involved, including O’Hare and Duffy, were convicted in the Special Criminal Court in 2019. The court heard that O’Hare and Duffy were “the ringleaders” of the events.

Following his arrest, McGrath told gardaí that before he arrived at the scene he had been told he was attending a job interview for security work. The court heard McGrath was dressed “almost as a bouncer” for that reason at the time of the offences. McGrath of Cushlawn Park, Tallaght, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to John Roche at The Towers, Garter Lane, Saggart, on June 9, 2015.

He also pleaded guilty to the false imprisonment of both Martin Byrne and Lisa Byrne at the same address on the same date. His 11 previous convictions include larceny and road traffic offences.

Passing sentence yesterday, Judge Karen O’Connor said the offence was aggravated by the “level of violence” against the security guard and the impact the offence had on the family who were falsely imprisoned.

Judge O’Connor said the mitigating factors were McGrath’s guilty plea, his admissions, his remorse, his difficult background and his efforts to rehabilitate from drug and alcohol addiction.

She said a distinction could be made between himself and others who took part in the offences. She sentenced McGrath to four years imprisonment, but suspended the final 12 months of the sentence on strict conditions.

At a previous sentencing hearing, Sergeant Eamon O’Neill told Garret Baker BL, prosecuting, that Mr Byrne had worked in the security industry for 25 years prior to the events in June 2015.

Mr Byrne was employed as head of security of the Mansfield Group which ran various properties such as Citywest Hotel. Sgt O’Neill said that on the date in question, Mr Byrne attended an office in which O’Hare was present. They were joined by Duffy and five more men arrived including McGrath.

Mr Byrne was told by O’Hare that his services were no longer required and that he was to immediately vacate the property at Garter Lane where he had been residing with his family as part of his employment arrangement.

Mr Byrne said that if he was given 24 hours he could move his family and his possessions out of the property, but this offer was rejected.

He tried to leave of his own accord but he was surrounded, grabbed and bundled into a car by the men.

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