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gun attack Convicted killer Robert Duffy facing extradition to North for breaching release licence

Duffy is currently serving a life prison sentence he received at the Central Criminal Court in 2008.

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Robert Duffy

Robert Duffy

Robert Duffy

Convicted killer Robert Duffy has appeared before the High Court on foot of an extradition request issued by the authorities in Northern Ireland.

Duffy (50) came before Ms Justice Emily Egan during Wednesday's vacation sitting of the High Court in Dublin, on foot of a warrant which alleges that he breached the terms of his early release from prison under the Good Friday Agreement.

In 1996 Belfast native Duffy was convicted in Northern Ireland of the murder of John Gibson, whose killing in October 1993 was claimed by the IRA.

Mr Gibson was shot dead in the driveway of his Belfast home because he was the director of a company that did construction work for the British security forces.

Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement Duffy was released on license from prison in July 2000.

One of the terms of his early release was that he not be a danger to the public.

Duffy is currently serving a life prison sentence he received at the Central Criminal Court in 2008.

Duffy pleaded guilty to attempting to murder Colin O'Neill by shooting him in the face at the Emerald Bar, Dundalk, on March 10, 2007.

The late Mr Justice Paul Carney imposed the life sentenced after he heard that Duffy was intoxicated and got into a row with Mr O'Neill, whose mother owned the bar.

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.

Mr O'Neill survived the attack by raising his hand just as the shot was fired, but sustained injuries to his hand. As Mr O'Neill tried to escape, he was shot in the back by Duffy.

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Arising out of his 2008 conviction, the warrant said that the Northern Irish Authorities deemed that Duffy had breached the terms of his early release and represents a danger to the public.

His license was suspended by the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, and a warrant seeking his surrender was issued under the EU-UK Trade and Co-operation Agreement.

The authorities intend to return Duffy to prison where he will serve out the remainder of the sentence he received for Mr Gibson's murder.

On Wednesday Ms Justice Egan heard that on foot of the extradition request Duffy was brought before the court by arrangement with the Irish Prison Services.

He is currently serving the prison sentence he received from the Central Criminal Court in 2008 at Shelton Abbey in Co Wicklow.

The court also heard that Duffy made no reply in response to several questions put to him by the Garda who arrested him.

Duffy was asked to confirm details including his name, date of birth, and if he knew what the allegations contained in the extradition request were about.

Leo Mulrooney Bl for the State said that there was no consent to bail in this case.

Duffy, who is represented in the proceedings by solicitor Kevin Winters, did not speak during the brief hearing.

The judge, after informing Duffy of his rights including his right to consent to his surrender and his right to legal representation, adjourned the matter.

The case will return before the Court later this month.

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