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Gangland double killer left ‘distraught’ behind bars after Graham Dwyer’s appeal defeat

Jail insiders have revealed that Jason ‘Jay’ O’Driscoll (40) had placed “great hope” in Dwyer’s attempt to overturn his conviction

Convicted murderer Jason O’Driscoll

Graham Dwyer

Ken FoySunday World

A notorious convicted gangland murderer was just one of many prisoners who were said to be “distraught” about the Court of Appeal’s decision to reject Graham Dwyer’s appeal against his murder conviction.

Jail insiders have revealed that Jason ‘Jay’ O’Driscoll (40) had placed “great hope” in Dwyer’s attempt to overturn his conviction based on numerous grounds, including the admissibility of mobile phone data evidence.

In April of last year Dwyer won a case in an EU court about the mobile data retention practices used in the case against him.

But the Court of Appeal ruled on Friday that he was not the victim of a miscarriage of justice and he was sent back to the Midlands Prison to continue his life sentence for the murder of Elaine O’Hara almost 11 years ago.

“This case was followed closely by a number of other lifers but it is safe to say that Jay O’Driscoll had much more interest in it than most other inmates,” a jail insider said.

“For years he was telling anyone that would listen to him on the B2 wing in Mountjoy Prison that the Dwyer case would lead his own double murder conviction to be overturned because of the important role that mobile phone evidence played in O’Driscoll’s case.

“He was very confident that it would lead to his freedom but obviously those hopes are gone for now,” the source explained.

Described as an “extremely cantankerous” inmate who has run into multiple disciplinary issues for fighting with other prisoners, O’Driscoll is serving a life sentence for the 2012 murders of 31-year-old Anthony Burnett and 25-year-old Joseph Redmond, in Co. Louth.

Analysis of retained mobile phone data played a key role in the garda investigation in the double murder case.

At his trial, mobile phone records supported the evidence of Mr Redmond’s partner, Crystal Jackson, who said that the two deceased had gone north that night to sell a car to O’Driscoll.

The jury were also provided with call and data records for eight phone numbers of interest in the case and the prosecution prepared a chart that summarised the contacts between them.

“O’Driscoll thought that this kind of evidence would be thrown out in his case on appeal and he believed that he had a great chance of succeeding if Dwyer was successful last week but that is clearly not the case.

“This is an individual who was practically celebrating in jail when Dwyer won in the European courts last April.

Graham Dwyer

“Every day he was going on about the Dwyer case. He is not a happy man now,” the jail insider added.

North inner city criminal O’Driscoll is a member of one of the country’s most ruthless and dangerous crime gangs.

When convicted in July, 2018, after a retrial and his extradition from Spain, O’Driscoll shouted "guilty of f****ng what" when a jury convicted him of murdering the two men who had arranged to sell him a stolen car.

The Central Criminal Court heard that emergency services were called to a burning car in a layby at Ravensdale Forest Park at 10.51pm on the night of the murder.

Firefighters described seeing skulls and rib cages inside the car.

The five-week trial heard that the bodies were fused together but were later confirmed to be those of the two Dubliners. They died of gunshot wounds to their heads before petrol was used to set fire to the black diesel Volkswagen Golf.

The State proved to the jury that the accused had attended the scene with another man and had participated in their murders.

The court heard evidence that his two victims had left their homes that evening to travel north to sell him a car they’d stolen that morning. O’Driscoll was living in Newry and had told them he’d pay €700 for the one-year-old Volkswagen Golf if they would drive it up to him.

The deceased were both from Ballybough in the north inner city and were described by the State as ‘small-time criminals’ involved in car theft.

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