Dissident killer enjoys pizza and family visit during day release from Portlaoise Prison
McGrath, from Tallaght, is serving a life sentence for the murder of dissident republican Peter Butterley 10 years ago
A major security operation was staged in Dublin this week as killer Edward McGrath was given day release from Portlaoise Prison to visit his family.
McGrath, from Tallaght, is serving a life sentence for the murder of dissident republican Peter Butterley 10 years ago.
Two garda vans escorted by patrol cars provided security as he visited loved ones in north Dublin. Two army jeeps and unmarked garda cars were also spotted during the security operation.
In other exclusive pictures, officers can be seen arranging for pizzas to be brought into the building where the visit took place.
McGrath (36), of Lanndale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght and Sharif Kelly (48), of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan were both sentenced to life for Mr Butterly’s murder in April 2017.
They are being held in the maximum security prison alongside ‘New IRA’ leader Kevin Braney who was convicted in February 2019 of the “premeditated” murder of dissident republican Peter Butterly in 2013.
McGrath was also found guilty of firearms offences dating from the same occasion.
He was sentenced to seven years for each of the offences.
Mr Butterly (35) was chased and shot dead outside The Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath in view of students waiting for their school bus on the afternoon of March 6, 2013 in what the Special Criminal Court said was not “a spontaneous act”.
He died from gunshot wounds to his neck and upper back.
Braney (48), of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Butterly but at his trial, was “said in effect to have been the man who gave the orders”.
Delivering judgment at the non-jury court, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said the court had been driven “irresistibly” to the conclusion that Braney was involved in the organisation and planning of Mr Butterly’s murder beyond a reasonable doubt.
In his opening address on October 4 2021, prosecuting counsel Paul O’Higgins SC told the court that Braney “was said in effect to have been the man who gave the orders... and is shown to have had an extensive involvement”.
Last year we revealed how all three were treated to pre-Christmas dinners inside Portlaoise with their families.
They enjoyed a slap-up meal with family members after agreeing to move cells to free up space in the jail.
Although prison authorities rejected claims the specially arranged dinners were laid on as a ‘quid pro quo’, officers in the Laois jail were said to be “deeply unhappy” at the development.
“People can’t afford to heat their homes or pay their mortgages and we are feeding prisoners’ families,” a source told the Sunday World.
“These prisoners are a very short time into their sentences and the staff think this is not acceptable. There is no expense spared and they’ll get the best of everything on the tax-payers’ money.”
The first of the dinners took place when New IRA leader Braney was allowed to invite family members into the jail to enjoy a festive meal with his loved ones.
McGrath and Kelly were also give a special Christmas treat the following weekend
During their 31-day trial, the court heard evidence that the car used in the shooting, a stolen silver Toyota Corolla, was being watched by members of the National Surveillance Unit.
Gardaí observed the Corolla drive past the Huntsman Inn before making a U-turn and returning to the pub, entering its car park.
The driver, McGrath, was wearing a black wig. The gunman was “crouched” in the back seat, behind McGrath. The window was rolled down.
The court heard that Kelly was waiting nearby with the getaway car. The gunman fired two shots at Mr Butterly’s car. One struck the bonnet and the other hit the windscreen.
Mr Butterly ran from the car, pursued by the gunman, who fired a number of shots, killing Mr Butterly.
A prison source told the Sunday World the meals had been organised as a reward to the dissident prisoners for agreeing to move on to the jail E1 landing — freeing up other landings on E-block for non-dissident inmates.
“There are only 12 dissidents left in the entire prison,” the source said.
FIREARM CHARGE | Gangster Robert ‘Roo’ Redmond pleads guilty to possession of sub-machine gun
Proud Dad | Westlife star Mark Feehily shares sweet Pride post with daughter from hospital
Big achievement | Influencer and single mum Aoife Walsh says she is ‘so proud’ as she buys her first home
sentence hearing | Hutch cousin needed money for drugs when he stabbed doctor seven times with scissors
Glove Island | Shelbourne FC goalkeeper Scott Van-der-Sluis tipped to enter Love Island
bad vibes | Teen faces prosecution for allegedly stealing vibrating sex toy from Dublin adult shop
The 'Ratt' Back | Gardaí on high alert as mob boss Brian Rattigan spotted arriving home at Dublin airport
support | Ex-partner of baby killer John Tighe describes agony of losing six-month-old son
MURDER PROBE | Gangland gun victim Gary Carey’s family were at his bedside as he died, inquest hears
heartbreaking | Cavan community ‘in shock’ after tragic death of teen girl (17) in tractor crash