Former Sinn Fein councillor and Mary Lou ally is charged with possessing firearms
A former Sinn Féin councillor and one-time political ally of the party's current deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, appeared before the Special Criminal Court last night, charged with possession of firearms with intent to falsely imprison another man.
Former Dublin City Councillor Jonathan Dowdall and his father Patrick Dowdall appeared at a sitting of the non-jury court.
Jonathan Dowdall (38), with an address on the Navan Road in Dublin 7, was charged with possession of a sawn-off shotgun and a .44 calibre magnum handgun on January 15, 2015, with intent to falsely imprison a man by the name of Alexander Hurley.
His father Patrick (59), also with an address on the Navan Road, Dublin 7, was also charged with possession of a sawn-off shotgun and a .44 calibre magnum handgun with intent to falsely imprison Mr Hurley.
Jonathan Dowdall, who was charged at Clontarf Garda Station yesterday evening, appeared in court wearing a navy Nike sweater. He sat beside his father Patrick, who was wearing a grey jumper, for the brief court hearing.
Giving evidence, Detective Garda Colm Finnerty told the court that Patrick Dowdall was charged at Swords Garda Station.
He said that when charged, Patrick Dowdall replied: "I didn't use any firearms on anybody. I've never had a firearm in my life."
Lawyers for Jonathan and Patrick Dowdall, who were represented separately, said they reserved their position in regards to the jurisidiction of the court in regards to the case.
The two defendants were remanded in custody to Portlaoise Prison until Friday.
Former Sinn Féin politician Jonathan Dowdall, who hails from the north inner city, was first elected to Dublin City Council in 2014 but quit public office and the party less than a year later.
He is a one-time protégé of Mary Lou McDonald and was one of two Sinn Féin candidates to be elected to Dublin City Council from her stable in Dublin Central during the last local elections in May 2014.
In September of the same year, Jonathan Dowdall decided to leave the party and the following year he cited bullying within Sinn Féin.
Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald said last night: "I have noted the arrest and charging of Jonathan Dowdall.
"He very publicly left Sinn Féin, supports and campaigns for a political rival in Dublin Central and has long severed all links with the party."