A jury took just two and a half hours to find Denis Hannifin (41), Curry, Athlone Rd, Longford, found guilty of assault, affray, production of a knife, possession of a knife and recklessly or intentionally causing serious harm to Denis McGinley at Longford Shopping Centre in December 2018.
The Longford man had pleaded not guilty attacking his victim, Denis McGinley after the pair became embroiled in a violent row inside the doors of Longford Shopping Centre.
Hannifin’s defence team had tried to argue that it was McGinley who had produced the knife first in an incident in which the victim told a week long trial of how he thought he was going to die.
“He stabbed me in my face, body, chest, back and arm,” he said.
“He cut me from the middle of my chest, under my arm and up my back with the knife in his right hand.
“I thought he was never going to stop. I was in fear of my life that he was going to keep doing what he was doing.”
A video posted on social media by Hannifin’s wife in recent days shows the 41-year-old smiling and posing into a camera during a FaceTime call.
Lyrics from Elvis Presley’s 1957 hit track Jailhouse Rock can be heard in the background of the 23 second clip with an accompanying message: ‘You won’t knock sparks out of him” in an apparent taunt to his victim.
Hannifin is a senior member of an organised crime gang which have been behind one of over half a dozen bitter feuds in Longford that have involved 14 Traveller families since January 2019.
In June 2020, Hannifin, together with two of his brothers Willie, Knockashaw, Dublin Road, Longford and Thomas, Dublin Road, Longford, walked free from court after receiving suspended sentences in relation to a violent fracas at a Texaco Service Station on June 2, 2019.
Hannifin was given a one-year suspended sentence, also backdated to when he was remanded in custody in April of that year for the possession of an axe during the incident.
His two brothers, meanwhile, were each given a three-year suspended jail sentence which was similarly backdated after both pleaded guilty to violent disorder.
Two juvenile defendants also appeared in connection to an incident which gardaí believe ignited what has become a bitter and increasingly fractious feud with a rivalling Traveller family also based in Longford.
Its fallout has resulted in numerous violent incidents including shootings, arson attacks, assaults and death threats, which have led armed gardai to carry out dozens of major operations.
Senior figures of the Hannifin mob have also become prime targets of Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) chiefs.
In July 2020, cash totalling over €100,000, 11 vehicles, three caravans and designer watches, handbags and clothing were seized as part of a major search operation.
A senior figure belonging to the same gang was arrested by CAB officers earlier this month and quizzed for a number of hours at Mullingar Garda Station in connection to alleged money laundering offences.
He was later released ahead of a file being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to determine what charges, if any, can be brought against the man.
Hannifin is due to be sentenced before a sitting of Longford Circuit Criminal Court on May 9.