Barrister who was victim of alleged assault by mobster Patrick Irwin found dead in his home
Alan Toal was a much respected barrister who was a popular figure among the legal community
November 27 2022 01:29 PM UP DATED, BY FRED BASSETT.
A veteran barrister who was believed to have been viciously assaulted by mobster Patrick Irwin has been found dead in his home.
Former garda-turned-lawyer Alan Toal’s body was discovered in his home in Co Wicklow late on Thursday night, where he had been living in fear and was under police protection.
His death is not being treated as suspicious and the state pathologist will now look to determine if he suffered from heart failure.
Mr Toal was a victim of a horrific assault suspected to have been carried out by Sligo gangster Irwin earlier this year.
Mr Toal was a much respected barrister who was a popular figure among the legal community.
He is believed to have been taking heavy prescription medication in a bid to cope with the stress of the serious threats that were being made against his life.
Mr Toal had been served with a Garda Information Message (GIM) warning that there was a credible threat against his life.
Convicted cocaine dealer Irwin is alleged to have head-butted and punched Mr Toal in a Midlands hotel in August after demanding cash – a six-figure sum – the mobster claimed he was owed.
Mr Toal had a consultation with clients at the hotel on the morning of August 18 and afterwards went to the restaurant on the premises, at which point it is alleged that he was attacked.
After the attack, it is understood Irwin stole the lawyer’s Porsche from outside the hotel and made his getaway at speed.
The 60-year-old lawyer had claimed he was subsequently threatened by ‘heavies’ linked to Dublin crime gangs, who were demanding he withdrew his statement against Irwin.
A senior member of slain crime figure Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne’s gang, who Mr Toal had previously represented, is believed to have become involved and offered to mediate in the row.
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But this convicted armed robber turned on Mr Toal during the mediation and began issuing his own threats.
Mr Toal had recently called into his local Garda station to report escalating threats that he said he was receiving from gangland figures.
Earlier this month, gardaí from the local Armed Response Unit were called to the barrister’s Co Wicklow home and seized a number of legally held firearms.
It is believed Mr Toal had previously become extremely emotional and had threatened to “shoot” Irwin if he appeared at his door.
In August, Patrick Irwin had allegedly threatened to kill Mr Toal and burn down his home if he made a complaint to Gardaí.
Irwin was released from prison in 2018 after serving 10 years for drug dealing and assaulting a member of An Garda Síochána.
He was previously represented by Mr Toal, who had acted for defendants in serious crime and gangland cases during his 30-year career.
The barrister also represented Irwin’s former girlfriend, Deirdre Moran (36), who served three years for transporting a gun for the criminal.
“I was viciously confronted and assaulted by a notorious criminal alleging that I had been avoiding him over the past several years, amongst other matters, none of which were true, rather delusional,” he said in a statement to the Irish Independent.
“I sat, stared and smiled at this person as he assaulted me and assured me that he would kill me and burn my house in the event that I made a complaint of his behaviour to Gardaí. These were not vacuous threats.”
The barrister said that after his assailant left, he discovered his car, which had his wig, gown and briefcase in the boot, had been stolen.
“Notwithstanding the threat to kill, I immediately contacted the Gardaí in Tullamore, whose detectives arrived in minutes.”
Mr Toal said he provided them with an eight-page statement about what had transpired.
Irwin is believed to have fled Ireland following the assault and had spent time in Spain and in the UK.
The feared criminal had been released from Mountjoy Prison in 2018 after serving consecutive seven- and three-year jail sentences for drug dealing and assaulting a garda.