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Gardaí don’t have to hand back €43,000 Toyota Hilux that ‘Lockdown Boxer’ Ned Doherty paid for in €50 notes, judge rules


Ned Doherty at Ennis Court

Ned Doherty at Ennis Court

Toyota Hilux. Stock image

Toyota Hilux. Stock image


Ned Doherty at Ennis Court

An unemployed Ennis man who purchased a Toyota Hilux for €43,000 in cash in €50 notes in February has failed in his bid to have Gardai return the jeep to him.

At Ennis District Court today, Judge Mary Larkin rejected the Police Property application by ‘lockdown boxer’ Ned Doherty (30) of St Michael's Park, Ballymaley, Gort Rd Ennis for the return of his 20-2 Toyota Hilux pickup.

Mr Doherty purchased the vehicle in cash from a County Roscommon car dealer on February 23rd and it was seized ten days later as part of a wider Garda operation that also involved the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) on March 5.

Solicitor for Mr Doherty, Daragh Hassett, told the court that it is six months since the pickup was seized and no charge has been brought against his client arising out of the Garda investigation.

Mr Hassett said: “Mr Doherty wants the jeep back. He is a father of young children and he keeps some horses.”

Mr Hassett said that Mr Doherty raised the funds for the vehicle purchase from savings in his AIB and credit union accounts, the proceeds from the sale of a mobile home and income from Personal Injury awards to Mr Doherty and his wife.

However, Det Sgt Kieran Crowley of Ennis Garda Station said that the payment for the €43,000 car in €50 notes raised a question for Gardaí as to where those funds came from.


Toyota Hilux. Stock image

Toyota Hilux. Stock image

Toyota Hilux. Stock image

Det Crowley stated that Mr Doherty is in receipt of social welfare and receives €307 a week and is not employed.

In reply, Mr Hassett argued: “Just because someone is on social welfare doesn’t mean that they can’t have other income from the likes of awards.”

In response, Det Sgt Crowley said that Garda checks have found that Mr Doherty himself has only received €5,000 in insurance pay-outs.

Mr Hassett said that gardaí had got “very slim pickings” from their operation at the Doherty address on March 5 and the Hilux was seized by gardaí on the way out and out of utter frustration.

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In response, Det Sgt Crowley stated: “No - it is quite the opposite in fact.”

Det Sgt Crowley stated that the vehicle is a “vital exhibit” in the ongoing Garda investigation.

Det Sgt Crowley said that gardaí have generated a financial profile on Mr Doherty and others from the financial documents they have received from financial institutions as part of their investigation.

Det Sgt Crowley stated that the Garda file into the investigation is nearly complete. He said that the investigation is now far beyond its initial scope and an incident room at Ennis Garda Station has been set up to co-ordinate the investigation.

Judge Larkin stated: "In all the circumstances I am refusing the application. There is an investigation at hand.”

In April at Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Brian O’Callaghan told Mr Doherty not to follow the example of the Dublin and Monaghan footballers.

Judge O’Callaghan made his comment when setting aside the one-month jail term imposed on Mr Doherty in the district court for a public order breach when gardaí broke up a 15-man boxing training session in Dromore Woods in Co Clare in May 2020 during the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Judge O’Callaghan also set aside the public order conviction and applied the Probation Act after Mr Doherty agreed to pay €100 towards the Garda Benevolent Fund.

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