NewsCrime Desk

Gardai swoop on thug after he tools up over Mr Big feud

Gardai haul O'Hara in over shotgun
Gardai haul O'Hara in over shotgun

THIS is the moment a gangland thug was arrested with a shotgun he armed himself with following a threat to his life.

Donal O’Hara (51), from Glin Park in Coolock, Dublin, was involved in a feud with associates of gangland’s Mr Big when gardaí raided his home in June last year and found a sawn-off shotgun and shotgun cartridges.

He was also linked to a feud involving his son Donal Jnr, who was one of seven men jailed for a horrific aggravated burglary on a family home in Co. Tipperary in 2015.

Donal Jnr , who has links to the pseudo-republican group the New INLA, was attacked in prison last August by a Ballymun criminal after a bounty was put on his head due to an attack he carried out on a woman. An associate of that criminal was shot last month in north Dublin.


Donal O'Hara Jnr

Donal Snr, who has over 30 convictions, was feuding with an associate of the north Dublin gang boss known as Mr Big last summer in a dispute over drug money. His house had been targeted in gun attacks as a result of the feud.

Gardaí received  intelligence that O’Hara had armed himself with a shotgun as a result of the feud and raided his home on June 22.

Donal O'Hara Snr

The Sunday World was watching as gardaí seized the weapon and arrested him. O’Hara was out on bail at the time after he was caught growing cannabis plants in his bedroom the previous year.

Gardaí found 72 cannabis plants with a potential value of €55,600 in his master bedroom.

He pleaded guilty to both offences at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Friday and is due to be sentenced on March 3.

When he was arrested over the shotgun he told gardaí that gangland criminals were trying to kill him and he planned to let off a shot if they came near his home.

“This has to come to an end one day,” O’Hara said. “They will put me in a box.”

O’Hara survived an assassination attempt as a result of the feud when a gunman fired a number of shots at him in Coolock.

Shots were also fired at his house in a separate incident. He was involved in a number of feuds, including one connected to a gym owner with links to Mr Big in a dispute over payment for a quantity of drugs.

He was also linked to a feud related to his son, who was part of a north Dublin gang involved in a spate of home invasions.

Seven members of the gang led by John Joyce were jailed in 2015 after being convicted over a home invasion in Tipperary.

Emma Corcoran called 999 as the raiders smashed the sitting room window of her home.

Her husband Mark went to investigate as their three daughters – then aged eight, six and three – slept in the next room.

Gardaí said the screams of the young daughters could be heard on the 999 call, along with one of the thugs saying: “I’ll shoot the kids”.

Mark Corcoran was viciously assaulted in front of his family during the incident. 

Associates of Joyce are also suspected of being involved in a pipe bomb business and one gang member accidentally blew one of his fingers off while making a deadly device.

They had also been linked to a number of gun attacks.

O’Hara Jnr was attacked in prison last August in a revenge attack. Prison sources said a €5,000 bounty was put on his head because he beat a pregnant woman unconscious.

He had the tendons in his arm severed and was beaten with metal poles in the prison attack and is now under the protection of New INLA prisoners.

The man suspected of carrying out that attack is a Ballymun criminal who has since been released from prison.

The Ballymun criminal has links to Glen Kiely, who survived an assassination attempt when a gunman shot him a number of times outside a house in the north Dublin suburb last month.

Underworld sources claim the gunman had intended to shoot Kiely’s associate, but shot the wrong man.

Kiely has a number of convictions and is a close associate of a man considered the chief supplier of drugs in Ballymun.

The associate is a 27-year-old who has previous convictions for weapons offences. Associates of that man had cars burnt out in Ballymun as result of a long-running feud which stemmed from the murder of Ian McConnell who was shot dead in 2005.

A man closely linked to McConnell is now part of the same New INLA gang O’Hara Jnr is linked with. The gang have been linked to murders carried out for the Kinahans as part of the Kinahan-Hutch feud as well as the murder of former New IRA member Vinnie Ryan last year.