Courts

Thursday 24 July 2014

Former FF councillor O'Flynn charged over triple murder plot

Ralph Riegel

Published 05/03/2013|04:00

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A FORMER city councillor and son of a veteran Fianna Fail TD was charged with soliciting someone to murder a garda, a Revenue Commissioner's official and an accountant.

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Gary O'Flynn (37), the son of former Cork TD Noel O'Flynn, was charged with three counts of soliciting someone to commit murder.

The charges were brought before Cork District Court contrary to Section 4 of the Offences Against the Persons Act (1861) and relate to dates between October 1, 2012, and February 15, 2013.

The charges all involve an address on the Mallow Road in Cork city.

Bail

The three individuals named in the charges are Det Garda Mary Skehan, Revenue Commissioner official George Ross and accountant Patrick Sweeney.

Judge Leo Malone was told by Det Garda Denis Lynch that the defendant replied "not guilty" when each of the three charges were put to him at Gurranabraher garda station.

The State objected to bail and Judge Malone remanded Mr O'Flynn in custody to appear again before the District Court tomorrow.

Mr O'Flynn of Hayfield Drive, Castle Court, Whitechurch, Co Cork, applied for free legal aid and told the court that he presently has no source of income and no assets or savings.

Mr O'Flynn said he had been self-employed up until recently and also has no overseas property assets.

Following submissions from Inspector Billy Duane, Judge Malone said he wanted to see bank account details and reserved finalising the question of legal aid until tomorrow.

Mr O'Flynn gave sworn evidence both in support of his application for free legal aid and bail.

His solicitor, Joe Cuddigan, applied for bail with Inspector Duane applying for a remand in custody.

Det Garda Lynch said gardai were applying for the remand in custody given the serious nature of the charges, the fear that witnesses might be interfered with and concerns that the defendant might quit the jurisdiction.

Gardai alleged the defendant was caught "red handed" following an investigation which involved an undercover officer, surveillance tapes, CCTV camera footage, the handing over of money and computer file data.

The court was told that the accused also allegedly tried to use his computer to access Land Registry data to identify the address of the garda in one of the charges.

The investigation arose from a separate probe involving the accused.

Judge Malone was also told that the defendant made three overseas trips in recent months to Mexico and the UK (twice).

Evidence

In evidence, Mr O'Flynn insisted he would comply with all bail terms set by the court including the surrender of his passport, regular signing on at a garda station and agreeing to specific geographical restrictions on his movements.

"I have no difficulty with that whatsoever," he said.

The accused also rejected suggestions he would leave Ireland. "I will not abscond," he declared.

The charges involved, which carry a maximum 10-year prison term on conviction, will be dealt with by the Circuit Criminal Court.

A qualified solicitor, Gary O'Flynn took his father's old seat on Cork City Council in 2003 when the dual-mandate ban came into force.

He ended his political career in 2008 after he said he wanted to focus on business matters with the city council seat going to his brother, Ken, who remains on the authority.

Mr O'Flynn's father was first elected to the Dail in 1997 and served as a TD for 14 years.

He was famously outspoken as a backbench TD and criticised both Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen for their leadership of the party and country.

Noel O'Flynn agreed not to defend his seat at the 2011 General Election at Mr Martin's specific request amid concerns that, if the party vote was split, they would fail to elect a TD in Jack Lynch's old constituency for the first time in FF history.

Irish Independent

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