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Protected witness Jimmy Mansfield Jnr's ex-security worker tells court how he was attacked by INLA members


Jim Mansfield Jnr

Jim Mansfield Jnr

Jim Mansfield Jnr

Terror boss Dessie O’Hare told businessman Jim Mansfield Jnr ‘You are done now. You can leave’ after he arrived at a warehouse with his late father’s former security guard, a court has heard.

Mansfield and Martin Byrne travelled together to Keatings Park from Finnstown House Hotel on the guise of meeting O’Hare on his own in June 2014.

Instead, Byrne told the Special Criminal Court, O’Hare was waiting for him along with convicted murderer Declan ‘Whacker’ Duffy and five other men who, he says, proceeded to kidnap and beat him in order to evict him from his home.

This afternoon the former security guard described his terrifying ordeal at the hands of the terror thugs and their henchmen on the grounds of the Mansfield family home.

Byrne, a father of three is on the Witness Protection Programme and gave evidence at the Special Criminal Court during the trial of Jim Mansfield Jnr.

Businessman Mansfield has plead not guilty to the kidnap charges.

Byrne says that he was brought to a meeting by Mansfield Jnr as he tried to negotiate the return of properties to his family after their business went into receivership.

The court earlier heard that a group including builder Gerard McGreevy from Newry and a Dundalk businessman had put together a complex financial arrangement to claim back some of assets which went into receivership in 2011.

He told the Special Criminal Court that he believed he was going to meet INLA boss O’Hare but instead was brought to meet him and six others including convicted murderer Declan Duffy.

Byrne says he was told he would be leaving his home, on the grounds of the Mansfield’s Tasaggart House property, immediately and was surrounded by the men.

He told the court he was then hit twice in a car on the way back to his house where his wife Lisa and son Brandon were.

There he was physically restrained and beaten again as O’Hare threatened him: “It’s your turn.” Byrne suffered a burst eardrum and other injuries during the terrifying ordeal.

He said when gardai called to the property he saw an opportunity to get away from the gang and check on his family. He approached the garda and said he was OK but was bleeding from his ear and eventually told the officers that O’Hare, Duffy and others were on the property.

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