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Shooting witness fled country

A Dublin man fled the country in fear of his life after he witnessed the fatal shooting of another man more than six years ago the Central Criminal Court has heard.

John O'Hanlon (45) of Millwood, Kilbarrack, Co Dublin had pleaded guilty to the withholding of information in relation to the murder of Paul Ryan (27) of Grangemore Lawns, Donaghmede, Dublin who was shot in the head on April 12, 2003 near Birr, Co Offaly.

Mr O'Hanlon withheld information between April 12, 2003 and June 6, 2007. The court heard that on April 12l, 2003 Mr O'Hanlon was travelling in a car to Birr, Co Offaly with Mr Ryan and a third man.

Mr O'Hanlon and Mr Ryan got out of the car, which had pulled up on the side of the road near Birr and were standing beside each other when the third man shot Mr Ryan in the head.

In fear of his life Mr O'Hanlon fled the scene and travelled to Co Derry, London and then Amsterdam.

Det Sgt Dermot Drea of Birr Garda Station, said gardai were satisfied Mr O'Hanlon had no knowledge of the third man's intentions.

The court heard that while in Amsterdam Mr O'Hanlon was arrested and in custody told Dutch authorities that he might have information in relation to a murder.

The Dutch authorities informed gardai who flew to Amsterdam in 2004, to interview Mr O'Hanlon in relation to the murder of Paul Ryan.

Det Sgt Drea told the court that Mr O'Hanlon was currently serving a six year prison sentence for a firearm related offence.

Mr Justice Paul Carney remanded Mr O'Hanlon in custody adjourning sentencing until next Friday.