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Garda evidence Jim Mansfield Jnr denied hiring criminals Declan 'Whacker' Duffy and Dessie O'Hare, trial hears

The sergeant said Mr Mansfield told gardai that he never had an issue with Martin Byrne and that while he knew Duffy and O'Hare, they had never worked for him.

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Jim Mansfield Jnr

Jim Mansfield Jnr

Jim Mansfield Jnr

Jim Mansfield Jnr told gardai that he never hired Declan "Whacker" Duffy or former terrorist Dessie O'Hare, both of whom have pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning one of the businessman's employees.

Mr Mansfield is on trial at the Special Criminal Court where he denies conspiring with Duffy and O'Hare to abduct security man Martin Byrne.

Sergeant Eamonn O'Neill today told Caroline Cummings BL for the prosecution that Mr Mansfield was arrested and questioned about Mr Byrne's abduction at Clondalkin Garda Station on December 7, 2015.

The sergeant said Mr Mansfield told gardai that he never had an issue with Martin Byrne and that while he knew Duffy and O'Hare, they had never worked for him.

He denied bringing Martin Byrne to Keating Park in Dublin to be "sorted out" by Duffy and O'Hare and said the two criminals were not involved in his life or any of his businesses and he had never hired either of them.

He also denied telling Martin Byrne's brother, Patrick Byrne, to destroy a digital video recording device that contained CCTV footage from the day Mr Byrne was abducted.

Mr Mansfield Jnr (54), of Tasaggart House, Garters Lane, Saggart, Co Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to conspiring with one or more persons to falsely imprison Martin Byrne on a date unknown between January 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015.

He also denies attempting to pervert the course of justice by directing Patrick Byrne to destroy recorded CCTV footage, with the alleged intention of perverting the course of public justice in relation to the false imprisonment of Martin Byrne (53) at Finnstown House Hotel, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co Dublin between June 9, 2015 and June 12, 2015. He is on trial at the Special Criminal Court.

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Declan 'Whacker' Duffy

Declan 'Whacker' Duffy

Declan 'Whacker' Duffy

Martin Byrne has previously told the trial that Mr Mansfield was just "a few feet away" when he was abducted and bundled into a car.

Mr Mansfield told gardai that Martin Byrne had been working for him for years and lived rent-free at a Dublin property owned by the Mansfields, called The Towers.

He said he knew Dessie O'Hare and Duffy. Duffy, he said, was a carpenter and had once asked him for work.

O'Hare, he said, worked in tar and had also asked for work. He said he didn't have work for either man.

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He said he couldn't understand why Mr Byrne was saying that he was behind the abduction. "The whole thing doesn't make sense," he said. He denied that Duffy and O'Hare were involved in his life, adding: "That is not good for my business."

Gardai asked if he was calling Martin Byrne a liar. He replied: "Yes."

He denied bringing Mr Byrne to Duffy and O'Hare and denied that he was responsible for what happened to him.

Earlier, Martin Byrne's brother Patrick Byrne denied that he had lied when he told the trial that Mr Mansfield asked him to destroy a recording device at Finnstown House that held CCTV footage of the day of the abduction.

He told Bernard Condon SC, for the defence, that he doesn't know why he waited four months to hand the device over to gardai.

He denied that he ever discussed with his brother when to give it to gardai and, he said, gardai did not come to him looking for CCTV.

The trial continues today in front of the three-judge court, with Mr Justice Alex Owens presiding.

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