Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Released IRA killer back in jail for life after murder bid

A man who was released from a life sentence for murder under the Good Friday Agreement was sent back to prison for life yesterday for attempting to murder another man.

Robert Duffy (36) of Old Bridge, Toberona, Dundalk, pleaded guilty in January to attempting to murder Colin O'Neill by shooting him in the face at the Emerald Bar, Dundalk, on March 10 last year.

In sentencing Duffy to life in prison, Mr Justice Paul Carney said the court had a duty to the people of Ireland to protect them from individuals who acted as if they were untouchable.

Duffy was sentenced to life in prison in 1996 for murdering company director John Gibson who he shot down in the driveway of his home in Belfast.

The court heard Mr Gibson had worked on a job for the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the IRA claimed the killing.

Duffy was convicted on the basis of DNA evidence, the first case of its kind in the North.

Mr Paul Burns, counsel for Duffy, said Duffy's younger brother had been murdered by loyalist paramilitaries and that was why he got involved in such activities.

The 36-year-old was released under the Good Friday Agreement in 2000.

The Central Criminal Court heard Duffy, a father of two, was intoxicated and got into a row with Mr O'Neill, whose mother owned the Emerald Bar on Church Street, Dundalk.

Duffy was thrown out but came back a short time later with a shotgun, walking along the bar to where Mr O'Neill was standing, pointing the gun in his face and firing at point blank range.

No comments: