Thursday 23 February 2017

'Broke' IRA man lives the good life

Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

THE 68-year-old south county Dublin man said to have 'nil' assets and living on welfare payments, who was sentenced to four years' imprisonment for IRA membership on Friday, lives in the rich suburb of Foxrock.

Gardai believe he has made a fortune from extortion and the 'security' business.

Barry Fitzpatrick regarded himself as a leading figure in the Continuity IRA, the dissident group responsible for terrorist acts in Northern Ireland, despite being heavily involved in ordinary crime.

He was once the head of the Provisional IRA in Dun Laoghaire, but was expelled because of his involvement in crime and joined the dissident elements some years ago.

He gives his address as the working-class estate of Ashlawn Park, Ballybrack, but has lived on up-market Brighton Road in the heart of leafy Foxrock for the last 14 years.

At Friday's hearing, the Special Criminal Court heard a plea by counsel on behalf of Fitzpatrick, who told the three judges that his client wished to apply for free legal aid.

The judges rejected the request. Fitzpatrick then represented himself.

During Fitzpatrick's trial last December, Chief Superintendent Peter Kirwan told the court that he believed him to be a long-standing member of the IRA, or its off-shoots.

The judges sentenced him to four years, but suspended the last year.

Sunday Independent

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