Mary Lou's former ally denies any links to criminality
A former political ally of Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has categorically denied any involvement with criminality following a raid on his family home by armed gardaí.
One-time Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall says he was "surprised" to see officers pulling up outside his Navan Road home, near Cabra, on Thursday, saying he managed to open the door "just in time to stop them bursting through".
The 38-year-old, 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.
Strenuously denying any links to "criminality or any crime organisation", Mr Dowdall said if he had any link to crime, "it would have come out during the election".
He denied any links to the Kinahan cartel but told RTÉ he was "proud to know" some members of the Hutch family.
When queried about his association with the Hutch family, he said: "You know how the inner city works, everyone knows everyone, some of them I'm proud to know, and there's plenty others I've never met. Just because someone has the name Hutch doesn't mean anything."
He added that he "has been a good friend" of Patrick Hutch since he was a child.
"It's been in the media all along that this man has no involvement in crime.
"I know that man, that man is a friend of mine, and this is probably linked to that."
Mr Dowdall told 'Liveline' presenter Joe Duffy he wasn't cautioned or arrested at any point on Thursday.
Mr Dowdall, who operates Abco Electrical, confirmed a luxury BMW worth close to €85,000 and a high-speed BMW motorbike worth €25,000 were taken by officers, along with documentation and other valuables. But he stressed he had financed these with loans.
He claimed the vehicles were only taken because they looked good on the back of a truck, claiming other vehicles - a Landcruiser and a Mini - were not taken.
His wife came back to the property to find a garda sitting in the house alone on the sofa watching telly with a machine gun beside him, he added.
Mr Dowdall, who yesterday refused to speak to the Irish Independent, said he feared for the future of his company. The company acts as a sub-contractor for security giant G4S. A G4S spokesman yesterday said six Abco workers had been suspended from a site in Ireland yesterday.
"I'm worried here, I've worked my a*** off since I was 16 and now my whole life has been turned upside down," Mr Dowdall told RTÉ radio.
"I've been doing work for a particular company in the city centre and one of my staff members was greeted by a management figure who put a paper in his face and asked 'What's all this about?'."