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Friday 29 August 2014

Notorious criminal jailed over brawl role

Ken Foy

Published 26/10/2013 | 02:00

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A NOTORIOUS criminal has been jailed for his role in a bloodbath that led to a gangland feud which claimed four lives.

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Derek 'Dee Dee' O'Driscoll is in a special jail protection unit this weekend after being locked up for 18 months for his involvement in a brawl in which he threatened others with a crutch during a fight which left another man dead.

The incident led to a major feud in west Dublin in which two opposing drugs gangs went to war in a gangland battle that lasted for almost two years.

When contacted yesterday, O'Driscoll's highly respected solicitor wife, Lorraine Stephens, refused to comment on the matter.

They have been in a relationship for the past decade.

O'Driscoll has convictions for assault, larceny, dangerous driving and criminal damage.

O'Driscoll (40), of Croftwood Park, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty to violent disorder and production of an article capable of causing serious injury at Park West Road, Ballyfermot, on September 27, 2009.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Jason Martin later died from injuries sustained during an altercation with men armed with hatchets.

People had been socialising in Hennigans Pub in Park West when disturbances which began inside moved out into the car park, but the fracas eventually calmed down.

Subsequently, two cars arrived carrying men armed with various weapons including hatchets.

During a fight involving these men, a man was wounded in the stomach and Mr Martin was fatally injured.

The court heard that O'Driscoll, who had been in the pub, joined the fight after these injuries were sustained. He was wielding a crutch in a threatening manner.

O'Driscoll's wife arrived in a car and went to take her husband from the scene to calm things down, but gardai stopped the car.

The court heard that O'Driscoll's co-accused, Michael Byrne, arrived at this stage – and the two men ran across the car park to get at each other.

They began biting, kicking, punching and head-butting each other and gardai had to struggle to separate them.

Brendan Grehan, defending, said that his client was sorry and ashamed of his violent actions.

Counsel said his client had taken counselling for drug addiction and anger management.

Judge Patricia Ryan sentenced O'Driscoll to two-and-a-half years in prison, with the final year suspended, on condition that he keep the peace for three years.

She also instructed that he undergo the supervision of the probation and welfare services for 12 months on his release.

Byrne was found guilty by a jury of affray with O'Driscoll.

He received a suspended two-and-a-half year sentence, which is to run after the termination of an 18-year sentence imposed on him in 2010 for a drug dealing offence involving €6.2m worth of heroin.

Irish Independent

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