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Dublin man jailed for 10 years for CU robbery and firing gun at garda

CourtsBy Aoife Nic Ardghail
Derek Murphy
Derek Murphy

A Dublin man has been jailed for ten years for robbing a credit union and firing a gun while resisting arrest.

The weapon fired by Derek Murphy (45) was later revealed to have had an umbrella shaft for a barrel.

The shot caused a bicycle patrol garda who was pursuing Murphy and his accomplice on foot to dive behind a nearby vehicle and retreat from the area. 

Murphy, of Springdale Road, Raheny pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing Portmarnock Credit Union, Strand Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin of €2,800 on November 16, 2012.

He also pleaded guilty to producing a firearm while seizing a vehicle and using a firearm while resisting arrest at St Anne’s Square, Portmarnock on the same date.

Judge Martin Nolan said Murphy remained a potential threat to society. He suspended the last two years of a 12 year sentence on condition he keep the peace for two years after his release.

Murphy was previously jailed for six years for a 2003 bank robbery, for 12 years for a tiger kidnapping and seven years for manslaughter in 1993.

Detective Garda Brian Pentony revealed that Murphy had only been released from the tiger kidnapping sentence about two years before he committed the credit union robbery.

He told Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that Murphy and his accomplice pushed into the credit union as a customer was being buzzed in. One credit union staff member later told gardai that Murphy had been the most aggressive robber in her experience of raids.

Garda Michael Bolton, who was on bicycle patrol, spotted the two men in balaclavas exiting the credit union. He discarded his bike to pursue the robbers on foot and saw them shouting at a motorist to get out of her car.

He was then forced to dive behind a nearby vehicle when he heard a bang and saw a flash coming from Murphy’s gun.

Gda Bolton, who has since been nominated for a medal for bravery, retreated towards the main road and flagged down a passing car to follow the robbers in their hijacked vehicle.

The hijacked Opel Astra was later discovered by other gardai abandoned at a housing estate. The two raiders were seen lying on a grass embankment nearby.

Murphy failed to hop a fence to escape when garda units moved in on him and his accomplice, who managed to flee.

A 9mm handgun was found in poor condition at the scene.

He said tests confirmed that a spent casing was jammed in the gun. He agreed with Sean Guerin SC, defending, that one part of the weapon was the shaft of an umbrella.

Mr Guerin submitted to Judge Nolan that his client had mental health and drug difficulties and had spent most of his life in custody. The judge agreed that Murphy had a dysfunctional upbringing and was not treated well.