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'Border Fox' Dessie O'Hare jailed for seven years for assault and false imprisonment

Mr Justice Tony Hunt said today that the violent side of O’Hare’s personality is a source of continuing concern.

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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 his involvement in a gang, which evicted a man and his family from their home.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt said today that the violent side of O’Hare’s personality is a source of continuing concern and his threat to society had not completely abated.

The three-judge court previously heard that O’Hare told gardaí that he was employed by businessman Jim Mansfield Junior at the time.

The employee pleaded with O’Hare to be given a few days for him and his family to leave their property voluntarily but the defendant refused, saying: “Get out right now”.

O’Hare (62), of Slate Rock Road, Newtownhamilton, County Armagh, admitted last January to assaulting John Roche, causing him harm, at The Towers, Garter Lane, Saggart, County Dublin on 9 June 2015.

He also pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning Martin Byrne at Rathcoole and Saggart on the same date.

The non-jury court was asked to take two counts of falsely imprisoning Mr Byrne’s wife and son into consideration.

O’Hare was jailed today for three years for assaulting Roche and 10 years with three suspended for the rest of his life for falsely imprisoning Byrne. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Byrne was employed by the late Jim Mansfield Senior, the father of Mr Mansfield Junior, for almost 20 years and provided security for him and his extended family.

Byrne and his family had been living in a town-house at The Towers, which was owned by his employer Mansfield Junior and became the subject of a dispute.

Business park

Byrne went with Mansfield Junior to a meeting on June 9 at a business park, where O’Hare and former Republican paramilitary Declan “Whacker” Duffy were present.

When Mansfield Jnr left the room, five other men came in and Byrne was prevented from leaving. He was told in “no uncertain terms” that he and his family had to vacate The Towers that day and was driven to the complex by the men.

Following this, John Roche was assaulted by O’Hare and the other men.

In 1988, O’Hare was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment for falsely imprisoning and assaulting Dublin dentist Dr John O’Grady, causing him grievous bodily harm, but was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement in 2006.

The former terrorist also has convictions for firearm offences as well as assaulting a garda.

O’Hare gave little reaction before he was led away by prison officers.

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Alison O'Riordan

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