headbutts | 

Notorious gangster wanted for attack on barrister suspected of fleeing abroad

Originally from Sligo, Irwin is involved in criminal enterprises in a number of counties across the country

Patrick Irwin. File image

Barrister Alan Toal

Ken FoyIndependent.ie

A notorious gangland criminal who gardaí want to arrest for the alleged assault of a well known barrister in an incident in which the lawyer’s car was also stolen is believed to be based between Spain and the UK.

Almost three months after the incident at a hotel in Tullamore, Co Offaly, gardaí have still not spoken to Patrick Irwin (40) and the stolen car has not yet been recovered.

A European Arrest Warrant has not yet been issued in relation to the case.

“Gardaí are looking to speak to this individual but all the indications are that he is abroad and has been for some time,” a source said.

“Information has come in that he has been in Spain and the UK while at one stage there were reports that he was in Drogheda.

“If charged and convicted of these offences, he is likely to be given a significant prison sentence,” the source added.

In the aftermath of the incident, Tullamore gardaí carried out a number of searches but failed to locate Irwin or the stolen Porsche car.

Originally from Sligo, Irwin is involved in criminal enterprises in a number of counties across the country and sources say his operations were getting bigger in the months before the Tullamore incident happened.

His gang were the focus of a major operation by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in July of last year in which one of Irwin’s key associates was raided in an operation in which drugs, cars and €24,000 cash was seized.

In 2012, CAB seized Irwin's home in Dromahair, Co Leitrim. It was estimated by CAB to have cost €400,000 when built.

Irwin, who had links to slain crimelord Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne and other dangerous Dublin based gangsters, was released from jail in August 2018, after serving a consecutive 10-year jail sentence for drug dealing and savagely assaulting a garda.

His alleged victim is barrister Alan Toal (60) who previously represented Irwin.

In an interview with the Irish Independent a fortnight after the incident, Mr Toal said his assailant threatened to kill him and burn down his home if he made a complaint to gardaí.

Mr Toal said despite the alleged threat, he had no hesitation in making a statement to gardaí. He said that if such behaviour was tolerated it would "erode the entire fabric of the criminal justice system".

Mr Toal did not name Irwin, but the Irish Independent has learned gardaí are investigating claims the criminal headbutted and punched him in the restaurant of the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore, Co Offaly, on August 18 before fleeing in the barrister's Porsche Panamera.

Mr Toal had a consultation with clients at the hotel on the morning of August 18 and afterwards went to the hotel’s restaurant, at which point it is alleged he was attacked.

"I was viciously confronted and assaulted by a notorious criminal alleging that I had been avoiding him over the past several years, amongst other matters, none of which were true, rather delusional," he said in a statement to the Irish Independent.

"I sat, stared and smiled at this person as he assaulted me and assured me that he would kill me and burn my house in the event that I made a complaint of his behaviour to the gardaí. These were not vacuous threats."

The barrister said that after his assailant left, he discovered his car, which had his wig, gown and briefcase in the boot, had been stolen.

"Notwithstanding the threat to kill, I immediately contacted the gardaí in Tullamore whose detectives arrived in minutes."

Mr Toal said he provided them with an eight-page statement about what transpired.


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