A JUDGE today jailed a Dublin man for shooting dead father-of-two Wayne Doherty outside his parents’ home in west Dublin.
And Judge Patrick McCarthy said he assumed it was a “splinter group” of the IRA which had shot dead a brother of the killer Robert Egan (27) in revenge for Mr Doherty’s death.
Egan, of Dromheath Avenue, Mulhaddart, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Doherty at Oakview Way, Hartstown, on July 4, 2009, but pleaded guilty on the third day of the trial to manslaughter.
He also pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of a shotgun on the same occasion.
The judge jailed Egan for 12 years for manslaughter with the final three years suspended.
He also gave him a five-year prison sentence, to run concurrently, on the shotgun charge.
The prison sentence is to run from the date of his arrest on May 10, 2010.
Egan said he accidentally shot Mr Doherty, who tried to wrestle a loaded sawn-off shotgun off him on the night of July 4, 2009 at Oakview Way.
Egan said he had brought the gun with him with the intention of shooting Mr Doherty’s friend in the legs following a row at a Christening party in Clonee earlier that day.
The Central Criminal Court heard that Mr Doherty had been given a paramilitary style funeral and Egan’s brother Jason, a shopkeeper with no links to criminality, was later shot dead by the IRA in direct retaliation for the death of Mr Doherty.
Judge McCarthy said he had to take into account the fact that Egan was not directly involved in the earlier row which ultimately led to a confrontation between two gangs.
Egan had brought a firearm to the scene and had made the situation far more serious.
It was accepted by the prosecution that he did not have any intention to kill or cause serious injury to Mr Doherty and it was accepted that the gun’s discharge was an accident. But the judge said accidents do not happen, they are caused.
Witnesses had said that Mr Doherty pleaded with Egan to put the gun away and then sought to take the firearm from him and his conduct was lawful, the judge said.
Karen Doherty, Wayne’s widow, had told of the impact on the family of his death and there was no doubt it was a very close and happy marriage.