Sunday 25 September 2016

Gardai raid home of former Sinn Fein councillor who quit party 'over bullying'

Published 10/03/2016 | 14:44

Gardai at the home of Jonathan Dowdall (inset)
Gardai at the home of Jonathan Dowdall (inset)

Gardai raided the Dublin home of a former Sinn Féin councillor who quit the party 'over bullying' today.

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Investigators raided the house on the Navan Road in Dublin this morning, and continued to search it this afternoon.

Senior sources said former Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall lives at the house. Mr Dowdall quit the party last year and later claimed it was because he was bullied

Mr Dowdall, who is in his mid 30s, first said he was leaving Sinn Fein in September of 2014 for health reasons, before later agreeing to stay on.

He finally quit the party - and the city council - in February 2015.

He said he was bullied by unnamed party members.

Gardai at the home of Jonathan Dowdall earlier today
Gardai at the home of Jonathan Dowdall earlier today

Today, plain clothes detectives could be seen coming from and going at his home throughout the morning and into the early afternoon, although there was no visible presence of Gardai  on the road outside.

The semi-detached house on the Navan Road has five CCTV cameras on the front, and a 141D-registered BMW in the driveway

Former Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall
Former Sinn Fein councillor Jonathan Dowdall

Access to the property is by electronic gates and an intercom system.

Mr Dowdall, a father-of-four, was a councillor in the north inner city, which is also represented by Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald.

After he left Sinn Fein, Ms McDonald denied that he had brought the bullying claims to the attention of the party.

Shortly before 3pm the Garda Water unit arrived and searched a large aquarium built into a shed at the back of the house.

Gardai at the home on Navan Road earlier today.
Gardai at the home on Navan Road earlier today.

Gardai first brought in an underwater camera, and then one of the sub Aqua team brought in air tanks and a breathing mask.

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