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'Manipulative' Gangland killer Brian Kenny locked up in secure prison after violating parole

Kenny had moved to the open jail two years ago after convincing the parole board that he was a reformed character despite the fact that State Witness Joey O’Callaghan, whose evidence convicted him, had received a number of threat to life warnings from Gardaí.

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Convicted murderer Brian Kenny

Convicted murderer Brian Kenny

Convicted murderer Brian Kenny

Gangland killer Brian Kenny is back behind bars at Wheatfield Prison after violating his parole in a drugs related offence.

The convicted murderer had been enjoying regular days out with his family and was living in the relaxed regime of Loughan House prison despite only serving 16 years behind bars for the cold-blooded assassination of Jonathan O’Reilly.

Kenny had moved to the open jail two years ago after convincing the parole board that he was a reformed character despite the fact that State Witness Joey O’Callaghan, whose evidence convicted him, had received a number of threat to life warnings from Gardaí.

O’Callaghan, whose book The Witness was turned into an award winning podcast The Witness In His Own Words, had appealed to the parole board not to grant Kenny any freedoms.

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Joey O'Callaghan's latest podcast acts as a warning about criminal grooming

Joey O'Callaghan's latest podcast acts as a warning about criminal grooming

Joey O'Callaghan's latest podcast acts as a warning about criminal grooming

However, he was deemed a low-risk prisoner and had been free to enjoy shopping sprees and overnight visits with family.

Last night Joey O’Callaghan said that he knew that Kenny had not changed and described him as a manipulative character with two faces.

“He is an abuser, a drug dealer and a killer but he is also a very skilled liar which makes him the most dangerous of all.

"I knew that Kenny had not changed, he never will yet he managed to work the system and get himself into a position that he was trusted and allowed walk out the gates of a prison.

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Our girl Nicola Tallant chats with Joey O' Callaghan

Our girl Nicola Tallant chats with Joey O' Callaghan

Our girl Nicola Tallant chats with Joey O' Callaghan

“It was only a matter of time before he broke his parole in one way or another or before he came looking for me. I have told my story and I have laid bare just what kind of a monster Brian Kenny is and yet he continues to manipulate people around him to convince them otherwise,” he said.

“I can rest easy now that I know he is locked up properly again. I have been through torture for the last few years as has my family knowing he has been getting out and roaming around. I can breath again for a while.”

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Kenny was allowed out for Christmas and sources close to him say he got intoxicated during the festive season which is not allowed under his parole. However, he managed to hide his condition from prison bosses and was allowed out again in recent weeks.

However, this week Kenny was caught up in a drugs related incident at the prison and his parole has been revoked meaning he is back serving life in Wheatfield where his co-accused Thomas Hinchon is also locked up.

Witness Joey O’Callaghan has been very vocal about the privileges that had been afforded to Kenny in recent years.

His story first emerged in the pages of the Sunday World when he returned to Ireland in 2012 unable to cope alone after being signed off the Witness Protection Programme.

In 2019 the book The Witness by Nicola Tallant became a best seller and last year the podcast The Witness In His Own Words made it to the number one spot in true crime podcasts in Ireland, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Last year it won the Gold place for Best Podcast at the Digital Media Awards.

In it he tells of his first encounter with Kenny who offered him a job on his milk float when he was just 12 years old and later groomed him into his drug gang forcing him to deal, transport and manage a major heroin operation.

Over years under Kenny’s brutal reign, O’Callaghan met with mob boss Martin ‘Marlo’ Hyland and later when Kenny and his co-hort Hinchon murdered O’Reilly outside Cloverhill prison he was ordered to hide the gun and burn the evidence.

But instead the teenager went to the Gardaí and led them to the weapon and at 19 he entered the Witness Protection Programme and faced down the killers in a courtroom.

Joey’s story of survival against all the odds hit a huge chord with the public and his podcast has topped an incredible two million streams since it was released last May.

But despite the success the shadow of Brian Kenny’s release loomed over him. Now Kenny is back in the main prison system and will have to wait years before he can be considered again for parole after breaking his agreement and having his licence revoked.

“I am very emotional and relieved. But I have always known deep in my heart that the truth overcomes everything.

"I knew back when I told the truth about Jonathan O’Reilly’s murder and I know that today when the truth about Brian Kenny and his lies that he is reformed has become clear.

"He tries to wear a mask and pretend he is something he is not. But the mask has slipped and it’s a small victory for me and my family who have suffered so much because of him.”

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