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feared gunman ‘Cold-blooded assassin’ who killed innocent pub drinker to be released from prison

Informed sources have revealed that Bernard Dempsey is being released on compassionate grounds due to serious health problems.

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Bernard Dempsey is currently serving a life sentence for the shocking murder of an innocent karaoke operator

Bernard Dempsey is currently serving a life sentence for the shocking murder of an innocent karaoke operator

Bernard Dempsey is currently serving a life sentence for the shocking murder of an innocent karaoke operator

One of Ireland’s most notorious gun killers is set to be released from prison on ‘compassionate’ grounds. 

Cold-blooded assassin’ Bernard Dempsey is currently serving a life sentence for the shocking murder of an innocent drinker.

Dempsey who was aged 48 at the time from Golden Lane, Dublin, had denied murdering James Curran (42) in the Green Lizard Pub, Francis Street, Dublin, in April 2005 in front of a crowd of shocked-onlookers.

Mr Curran died following three gun-shots to the head.

Hardman Dempsey was one of the most feared criminals operating in the south inner-city and was said to have been a key figure in the Provisional IRA in south-inner Dublin.

After Dempsey was sentence to life, Det-Insp Gabriel O'Gara said there was "widespread intimidation" in the case.

Informed sources have revealed that Dempsey, who has spent the last 16 years in jail between Portlaoise and Castlerea prisons, is being released on compassionate grounds due to serious health problems.

It is understood that he has been visited in the past number of days by welfare officers who are organising his release and needs upon being freed. He is due to walk free within days.

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Jim Curran

Jim Curran

Jim Curran

Dempsey was jailed by a jury of 10 men and two women who returned a unanimous verdict in the Central Criminal Court after deliberating for just over one hour.

The jury were informed at the time that the murder was "a cold-blooded, calculated assassination-type killing.”

Late Justice Paul Carney imposed the mandatory life sentence on Dempsey, saying this was the third murder he had seen where somebody undisguised in a pub put a bullet into somebody else's head in front of a crowd of people.

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In court proceedings the jury heard that at the time of the fatal shooting, around 30 local people gathered in the small pub as a karaoke operator who had never worked in the pub before, cajoled customers to get up and sing.

Dempsey arrived in the pub with a group of family and friends sometime after 9pm.

At about 10.15pm, Dempsey, who had been drinking at the bar, walked calmly towards the table where he was sitting with a number of other people and shot him in the head three times at close range.

He then gestured to the crowd of shocked onlookers with his gun and walked out of the pub as calmly as he had walked up to his victim moments before.

The prosecution's case rested largely on the evidence of two key witnesses, the karaoke operator, and Mary Kennedy, a sister of the accused, neither of whom, prosecuting counsel Brendan Grehan SC said, had "an axe to grind with anyone”.

In a victim impact statement, a brother of the murdered man, Brendan Curran, told the court at the time that his entire family had been "traumatised by this act of wanton destruction on a young life."

Speaking directly to Dempsey he said: "You've put a hole in my mother's heart. You've put a hole in all our hearts and they have been filled with grief which is everlasting. I hope you can live with that."

After the verdict he said: "I feel shocked. There are no words for it." He added: "Justice is served”.

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