Sunday 18 August 2019

Two men admit helping gang to murder brother of slain Real IRA leader

Guilty: Paul O’Beirne (pictured) and Jeffrey Morrow admitted helping in the murder of Vinnie Ryan. Photos: Collins/Courtpix
Guilty: Paul O’Beirne (pictured) and Jeffrey Morrow admitted helping in the murder of Vinnie Ryan. Photos: Collins/Courtpix
Guilty: Paul O’Beirne and Jeffrey Morrow (pictured) admitted helping in the murder of Vinnie Ryan. Photos: Collins/Courtpix

Eoin Reynolds

Two men have pleaded guilty to helping a criminal organisation murder Vinnie Ryan, a brother of slain Real IRA leader Alan Ryan.

Vinnie Ryan (25) was shot in the head just after dropping his partner and infant daughter at her home.

Paul O'Beirne and Jeffrey Morrow went on trial on June 24 when they pleaded not guilty to Mr Ryan's murder.

Following almost two weeks of legal argument, both pleaded guilty to facilitating a serious offence contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006. Morrow made his plea last Friday and O'Beirne made his plea yesterday.

The Director of Public Prosecutions accepted the pleas and Justice Michael White remanded both in custody until this Friday for a sentence hearing. But he said he will not pass sentence on that day.

Morrow then asked the judge for an early sentence. "You will be sentenced by Wednesday, July 31," the judge replied.

Morrow responded: "Yes. Lovely."

Justice White also told Mr Ryan's family they will be entitled to make a statement to the court about the impact the murder has had on them.

The prosecution alleged a silver Volkswagen Polo was used by the person who shot Vincent Ryan three times.

O'Beirne (36), of Colepark Drive, Ballyfermot, has pleaded guilty to facilitating the commission of a serious offence by a criminal organisation by the provision and destruction of a motor vehicle.

The charge stated he did this knowingly, facilitating that criminal organisation or one of its members in murdering Vincent Ryan.

Morrow (37), of Burnell Court, Coolock, pleaded guilty to the same offence but his indictment did not mention the provision and destruction of a motor vehicle.

Justice Michael White told him the charge will be amended on Friday and he will be asked to plead again.

Vinnie Ryan was shot dead on February 29, 2016, at McKee Road in Finglas.

Opening the trial last month Paul Burns SC, for the prosecution, said the shooting was "brutal, callous and shocking" and was "carried out in broad daylight in a residential area at a time when you could expect young children to be coming home from school or out playing on the street".

On day two of the trial, Ryan's partner Kelly Smyth told Mr Burns she was with him at his home in Donaghmede, on the date.

They decided to go to her house on McKee Road and travelled in his white Volkswagen Golf GTI with their five-week-old daughter in the back.

When they arrived at Ms Smyth's home they pulled up outside, and Ms Smyth got out with their daughter and asked Mr Ryan to move the car. From inside the house she said she heard five loud bangs.

Irish Independent

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