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Convicted killer slams council for trying to evict him from house

Harry Dinan outside the house
Harry Dinan outside the house

A convicted killer has claimed he is being unfairly evicted from his home, saying: “They just want to punish me all over again.”

Harry Dinan, from Co. Clare, served seven years in prison for the manslaughter of an innocent school teacher during an unprovoked assault.

However, Dinan now says he feels Clare County Council are punishing him all over again.

This week he warned that if the council evict him from the small semi-detached property in Waterpark Heights, Ennis, and force him on to the street, they will be pushing him back into a world of criminality.

Speaking to the Sunday World, he insisted that he is desperately trying to leave behind his criminal past.

“If they take me out of this house, I’ll be back in jail within a week,” he said. “A man’s home is his castle is the way I look at it. When I was in prison all I wanted to do is get my time done and go home. And now they’re trying to take that off me.

“I did my time and all I want to do now is to be left alone. I offered to pay the council the same money they were getting from my parents, but they simply didn’t want to know. I think they just want to punish me all over again.”

Dinan, a convicted drug dealer and killer, was released from prison in November 2015 and returned to live in the tiny two-bed house in Waterpark Heights where his parents lived for the past 20 years.

He had served seven years for what was described as an “utterly unprovoked, cowardly, brutal and grossly violent” attack on school teacher Brian Casey, which resulted in the 26-year-old’s death.

Mr Casey was a “totally innocent’’ bystander in the unprovoked assault and was caught off guard by a severe “haymaker” punch inflicted by Harry Dinan.

The blow broke Mr Casey’s jaw in two places and the Lissycasey man fractured his skull on impact with the ground. 

The court heard Harry Dinan’s nephew Kevin Dinan punched Mr Casey repeatedly to the face and head while he lay on the ground. 

He never regained consciousness and died two days later.

Following Harry Dinan’s release from prison in November 2015, he says he returned home to his parents’ house. They had passed away within two months of each other in September and November of 2016.

Appearing before Ennis District Court this week, a solicitor for Clare County Council, Marian Keane, said the council was seeking to evict Dinan from the house on the basis that he wasn’t living at the property continuously for two years prior to his parents’ death.

Ms Keane told Judge Patrick Durcan that in order for a relative to remain in a Council property after a death, they must have been living in the property for two years prior to the death. 

She said that this is clearly not the case as Mr Dinan was released from prison in November 2015. Ms Keane said that Mr Dinan is unlawfully living at the property, pointing out that there is considerable pressure on the Council housing list.

It was stated that Mr Dinan’s parents were the only people living at the property and that Mr Dinan was not declared living at the property for rent assessment at any stage.

Ms Keane said that Mr Dinan is eligible for social housing support, but the Council is not in a position to allocate a house to him currently.

Speaking in the wake of the court proceedings, Dinan said he was upset that in the aftermath of the case all anyone seemed to talk about was his conviction for manslaughter.

“All people seem to want to do is bring up the court case,” he said.

“I think it’s more or less about the conviction and that’s why I’m being forced out of the house. 

“No-one is willing to listen to a different side of the story… they just want to talk about that.

“My parents were living in this house for 20 years and they passed away in September and in November 2016.

“They tried making out that I was only living here since November 2016, but I was living here for three years before I went to jail as well.

“My case is I did what I did, but I served my time.  And I’m sorry for what I did.

“People have called me a murderer, which is not true, I was convicted of manslaughter, and said I should be sent away for good. But what I want to know is where do they think I should be sent to?

“From the 24th of November 2015 not one guard has had to knock on my door, but if I go on the street I’ll end up in jail because it’ll force me back to crime to keep a roof over my head.”

Judge Patrick Durcan said that he wanted to see the address that appeared on Dinan’s charge sheet where he was first charged in relation to the unlawful death case and adjourned the case to Ennis District Court where it will be re-entered in September.