Monday 14 October 2019

Dentist kidnapped in terror ransom plot leaves more than €1m

Dr John O’Grady never spoke of the 23-day kidnapping
Dr John O’Grady never spoke of the 23-day kidnapping
Liam Collins

Liam Collins

The late John O'Grady, the Dublin dentist kidnapped by ''Border Fox'' Dessie O'Hare, has left more than €1m in his will, according to papers lodged in the Probate Office in Dublin.

The dentist, who at the time was the son-in-law of multi-millionaire medical businessman Austin Darragh, never spoke afterwards of his 23-day ordeal at the hands of the terrorist and his gang, during which the tops of two of his fingers were severed.

But he did resume his career as a dentist and was honorary dentist to the Irish rugby team for many years.

Mr O'Grady, of Herbert Road, Sandymount, Dublin and formerly of Seamount, Stillorgan, died from cancer at the Blackrock Clinic on September 20, 2016 at the age of 67.

According to probate documents, he left an estate valued at €1,456,959.

He left the contents of his suite in the Blackrock Clinic to his children Darragh, Anthony and Louise and the residue of his estate to his partner Rachel Fehily.

He also left a number of personal bequests with a request that they be used for the education of Christian Fehily.

Dr O'Grady came to national prominence when he was dragged from his home in Cabinteely, Dublin in front of his wife Marise Darragh and their family, on October 13, 1987, by O'Hare and his gang, a splinter group of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

They demanded IR£1.5 million in cash for his safe return and at one point in the drama part of the little fingers on both his hands were severed with a hammer and chisel and left in a bloodied package in Carlow Cathedral as a warning of their intentions to further harm him if the money was not forthcoming.

In a phone call, O'Hare said: "It just cost John two of his fingers, now I'm going to chop him into bits and pieces and send fresh lumps of him every f**king day if I don't get my money fast."

The well-known priest Fr Brian D'Arcy acted as an intermediary with the terrorists as Dr Darragh frantically tried but failed to raise the necessary cash.

The gang moved Dr O'Grady to different locations in Dublin and Cork before he was finally freed by gardai on November 5, 1987, after a shoot-out in the Cabra suburb of Dublin during which one of his rescuers was shot and injured.

O'Hare had already left the scene before gardai arrived and after a dramatic car chase in the follow-up operation he was stopped at a roadblock near Urlingford, Co Kilkenny, during which his associate Martin Bryan was shot dead and O'Hare was injured by an army sniper.

The terrorist subsequently pleaded guilty to kidnapping charges, which meant that Dr O'Grady did not have to give evidence of his ordeal.

Dessie O'Hare was sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment.

He was given extended temporary release in 2006 by order of the High Court under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and is living in Ireland.

He never apologised to Dr O'Grady or his family for the kidnapping.

Sunday Independent

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