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Thursday 27 July 2017

Garda plot to get me killed, man tells court

Ray Managh

A FRIEND of slain gang boss Eamon Dunne has claimed senior gardai are in collusion with crime journalists to set him up to be murdered.

Brian O'Reilly, who recently narrowly escaped death when he was shot twice in his local pub in Bettystown, Co Meath, was granted leave to seek High Court orders directing the Minister for Justice to set up an inquiry by Mr Justice Michael Peart.

Counsel for Mr O'Reilly told the court his client believed gardai had unlawfully concealed criminal intelligence relating to threats on Mr O'Reilly's life.

He said the minister had powers to direct an inquiry into such a matter.

Mr O'Reilly, described as a businessman, of Northlands, Bettystown, was also granted leave to seek an injunction restraining gardai from passing on intelligence to certain members of the print media.

He was also granted leave to seek a court order against the garda commissioner compelling him to fully investigate "the sources of repeated unlawful leaks by members of the force" to journalists.

Counsel said the minister had twice been advised of Mr O'Reilly's belief that garda intelligence of death threats to him had deliberately been concealed, which had resulted in his shooting and injury.

Mr O'Reilly said that since Eamon Dunne had been shot, he had become the target of considerable media speculation that he had taken over control of his drugs and crime organisation. "This is vehemently denied," he said.

Mr O'Reilly said that on August 7 last, while in McDonough's public house, two gunmen had shot at him.

Whilst shot twice, he had survived. Afterwards, newspapers asserted he had been advised by gardai of a threat to his life.

DANGER

He said he had never been advised that his life was in danger. For journalists to suggest otherwise was blatantly untrue.

He told the court that gardai continued to engage in a campaign of orchestrated adverse publicity about him.

Media assertions that he was now public enemy number one and "next" for shooting were examples of reckless journalism being assisted by the garda.

He believed the gardai would continue to collude with members of the print media unless restrained by the court.

"One can but wonder what the outcome might have been had I not been in a position to physically restrain my attackers," he said.

Judge Peart said a case had been made out for leave for judicial review and other reliefs to be sought before the court and adjourned the proceedings until January 26.

Irish Independent

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