Convicted murderer said if he did not put bullet in his son, IRA would – court told

Son charged with impeding apprehension or prosecution of his father

 Photograph:  Matt Kavanagh

Photograph: Matt Kavanagh


A convicted murderer who dismembered his victim’s body with a chainsaw threatened that if he did not put a bullet in his own son – who is accused of impeding the murder investigation – “the IRA would”, a trial has heard.

The Central Criminal Court also heard on Thursday that an ambulance was called to Leixlip Garda Station after Paul Wells Junior had a panic attack mid-interview and collapsed on the floor of the custody area.

Paul Wells Snr, of Barnamore Park, Finglas in Dublin 11 was found guilty of murdering Kenneth O’Brien at his home in Finglas on January 15th or 16th, 2016. The killer admitted that, after shooting the 33-year-old father in his back garden, he dismembered his body with a chainsaw and dumped it in a suitcase in the Grand Canal.

The accused man, Paul Wells Jnr (33), is charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of his father Paul Wells Snr (51) by disposing of a chainsaw in Co Kildare nearly four years ago. The prosecution allege the accused did so knowing that his father had taken a life.

Mr Wells Jnr, with an address at Beatty Park, Celbridge, Co Kildare has pleaded not guilty to disposing of a chainsaw motor at a time unknown between January 19th and 20th, 2016 in Co Kildare and not guilty to disposing of a chainsaw blade and chain on January 20, 2016 in the same location.

The jury was on Thursday listening to further Garda interviews in the trial of Mr Wells Jnr.

Evidence has been given that Mr Wells Jnr made a voluntary statement to gardaí at Leixlip Garda Station on February 5th, 2016 and was arrested the next day on suspicion of murdering Mr O’Brien with a firearm.

In cross-examination today, Sgt John O’Keeffe told defence counsel Damien Colgan SC that the accused suffered a panic attack during his sixth interview with gardaí on February 7th.

Sgt O’Keeffe agreed with Mr Colgan that Mr Wells Jnr said mid-interview that he “could pass out” and was finding it hard to concentrate as he thought he was about to have a panic attack. Following this, gardaí terminated the interview and a doctor was called to the station.

Sgt O’Keeffe also agreed with the barrister that the accused had said he was feeling dizzy and collapsed on the floor of the custody area. A 999 call was made and an ambulance dispatched to the station.

The witness agreed that Mr Wells Jnr was complaining of chest pains and had a history of suffering from panic attacks. Ambulance personnel conducted an ECG on the accused in order to rule out any cardiac issues, said Sgt O’Keeffe.

The doctor administered medication to the prisoner and he was deemed unfit for questioning for six hours. He was allowed to rest before he was brought to the district court that night in order to seek an extension to his detention period.

Sgt O’Keeffe agreed with Mr Colgan that he was aware of a complaint made by Mr Wells Jnr against his father Wells Snr. The court heard a threat had been made by Wells Snr to the life of his son, when his daughter had visited him in prison.

Mr Colgan put it to the witness that Wells Snr had indicated that Mr Wells Jnr was going to have a bullet put in him and if Wells Snr did not do it, then other persons notably the IRA would. Sgt O’Keeffe indicated this was the case.

Sgt O’Keeffe agreed that Wells Snr also said to his daughter: “I won’t have to when the IRA find out, they will do it.”

Wells Snr’s daughter informed the accused about their father’s threat and an investigation was carried out, the court heard.

Sgt O’Keeffe further agreed with Mr Colgan that when Wells Snr was interviewed by gardaí about his conversation with his daughter, he mostly said “no reply” and denied using those words.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury of six men and six women.