Ex-Fianna Fáil councillor jailed for soliciting to murder

Gary O’Flynn (39) jailed for three years for soliciting to kill garda, Revenue official and accountant

Former Fianna Fáil councillor Gary O’Flynn has been jailed for three years for to soliciting to murder three people. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

A former Fianna Fáil councillor has been jailed for three years for soliciting someone to kill a garda, a Revenue official and an accountant whom he blamed for his problems after he became the subject of a Garda fraud investigation.

Gary O'Flynn (39), of Hayfield Drive, Whitechurch, Co Cork, was given a five-year sentence with the last two years suspended after he pleaded guilty to soliciting someone to kill Garda Mary Skehan, Revenue official George Ross and accountant Patrick Sweeney.

Det Sgt Denis Lynch told Cork Circuit Criminal Court gardaí were contacted by a witness on January 30th, 2013, to report that O’Flynn had asked him to approach someone to murder Mr Sweeney, Mr Ross and Garda Skehan.

The witness had met O’Flynn and recorded him saying he was serious about having the three people killed, and had €10,000 to fund it.

READ MORE

O’Flynn was a solicitor at the time and was also a mortgage adviser using the name Flexible Mortgages. He was being investigated by An Garda for filing false accounts and using false documentation to secure three mortgages totalling almost €700,000.

Garda Skehan was the lead investigator in a Garda investigation of O’Flynn for fraud and Mr Ross was lead investigator for the Revenue, while Mr Sweeney had been O’Flynn’s accountant and had been involved with him in a pub business.

Gardaí warned the three individuals and arranged for the witness to introduce O’Flynn to an undercover garda posing as a hitman at the Maldron Hotel in Cork on February 15th 2013. O’Flynn paid €1,000 to the undercover officer as a deposit to carry out the killings.

Intermediary

The undercover officer posing as a hitman arranged a second meeting with O’Flynn for February 22nd, 2013, but O’Flynn never showed up and when gardaí got the intermediary to ring him, O’Flynn said he was no longer going to proceed with the plan.

Gardaí later arrested O’Flynn for questioning. He made no admissions. When they played the recordings to him, he said “it was out of context and it was only friends talking”.

Det Sgt Lynch said gardaí seized his computers and found he had searched online for lists of murdered gardaí as well as Registry Office files to try and find where both Garda Skehan and Mr Ross lived. O’Flynn had expressed no remorse to date for his actions, he said.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Eugene Morgan said O'Flynn suffered from depression and anxiety and had a narcissistic personality that was difficult to change. Since going to prison on other charges, he had exhibited suicidal tendencies.

“He was living in a fantasy world to the extent that he had no regard for his actions,” said Dr Morgan, adding O’Flynn had shown signs of progress while undergoing treatment in prison, but would have to remain on antidepressants for life and under supervision.

Concern

O’Flynn’s father, former Fianna Fáil TD Noel O’Flynn said the family became concerned about their son in 2009 when he began behaving erratically.

“We love our son very dearly and I’m sure that he has learned a number of lessons from recent events, as we all have,” he said.

O’Flynn wrote a letter, which was read to the court, in which he apologised to Mr Ross, Mr Sweeney and Garda Skehan for his “insane and demented rantings”.

“I don’t know what was going through my head – I was in a demented state of mind,” he said.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin noted O’Flynn seemed to have responded to treatment in prison but said his fraud as a solicitor in relation to the mortgages was a very serious offence.

On the soliciting-to-kill charges, which carry a maximum of 10 years, it was worrying money had been handed over to someone to kill them.

The judge sentenced O’Flynn to five years in jail on the soliciting-to-kill charges but suspended the final two on condition he be of good behaviour. He sentenced him to three years concurrent on the mortgage fraud charges.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times