Tuesday 19 September 2017

Former councillor admits soliciting to murder trio

Court told psychiatric reports will be critical to sentencing of solicitor and financial consultant

Gary O’Flynn arriving at court and (inset) his father, former Fianna Fáil TD, Noel O’Flynn
Gary O’Flynn arriving at court and (inset) his father, former Fianna Fáil TD, Noel O’Flynn
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A FORMER city councillor pleaded guilty to soliciting someone to murder a Detective Garda, a Revenue Commissioner and an accountant.

Gary O'Flynn (39), a son of former Fianna Fáil backbench TD Noel O'Flynn, entered the plea before Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

O'Flynn, a qualified solicitor, indicated he was pleading guilty to three charges as the court was about to deliberate on a scheduled trial date.

He will now be sentenced in two months after Judge Sean O'Donnabhain was told that substantial medical reports need to be compiled first for the benefit of the court.

Defence counsel, Marjorie Farrelly SC, said the reports would take at least two months to compile and prepare.

She said that these reports were absolutely essential for the court to consider in relation to sentencing.

O'Flynn was granted free legal aid last year after the court was told he was in "a destitute situation."

The charges were brought contrary to Section 4 of the Offences Against the Persons Act, 1861 and relate to a variety of unknown dates between October 1, 2012 and February 15, 2013.

All three charges involved an address on the Mallow Road in Cork.

The three individuals named are Detective Garda Mary Skehan, Revenue Commissioner official George Ross and accountant Patrick Sweeney.

None of the three was required to offer evidence yesterday.

The charges specify that a single named individual was solicited by Gary O'Flynn to murder each of the three.

No further details of the charges were given before Judge O'Donnabhain.

The charges relate to a time when Gary O'Flynn was operating a financial consultancy business in his native Cork.

O'Flynn of Hayfield Drive, Castle Court, Whitechurch, Co Cork was first charged before Cork District Court.

However, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) indicated that the matter was too serious to be dealt with at District Court level and had to be dealt with by judge and jury.

O'Flynn, who appeared in court wearing a grey suit and tie, remained silent except to confirm his three guilty pleas when formally arraigned.

The court previously heard that Mr O'Flynn has no paid employment, no source of income and no assets.

The defendant earlier confirmed that he had received €5,000 in settlement of a defamation action brought against a UK newspaper several years ago.

However, this money had since been totally exhausted on his legal fees.

Judge O'Donnabhain was told that O'Flynn also remains under the constant care of a psychiatrist.

He has been receiving psycho-medical treatment for a variety of problems over some considerable period.

The court was told these will be extremely relevant for sentencing.

Tom Creed SC indicated that the State would be objecting to any bail application given the serious nature of the charges to which O'Flynn had now pleaded guilty.

Until now, he had been remanded with consent to bail on the three soliciting to murder charges.

Judge O'Donnabhain was told that O'Flynn is currently serving an unrelated sentence for deception.

That term was imposed on July 3 last with O'Flynn scheduled to complete the sentence and be released from custody on February 24 next.

He received a three-year sentence, with two years suspended, in July last year after he was convicted on 13 separate counts by a Cork Circuit Criminal Court jury.

Judge O'Donnabhain adjourned sentencing on the soliciting to murder charges until April 22 and remanded O'Flynn in custody.

No formal application for bail was brought before the court

He directed that O'Flynn continue to receive whatever medical treatment is deemed necessary by the prison authorities.

Gary O'Flynn served as a member of Cork City Council from September 2003 until December 2008.

He was co-opted on to the old City Hall seat held by his father, Noel O'Flynn TD, since 1991 but which he had to vacate in 2003 under new dual-mandate regulations.

By 2007, Gary O'Flynn was considered a likely future FF Lord Mayor of Cork.

He was also regarded by many as the likely political successor to his father in the Cork North Central Dáil constituency.

The constituency has since dropped from five to four seats.

Gary O'Flynn is one of the three sons of Noel O'Flynn, a successful motor industry supply businessman.

His brother, Cllr Kenneth O'Flynn, succeeded to the Cork City Council seat which was vacated by Gary O'Flynn in 2008.

Irish Independent

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