Republic of Ireland news

'New IRA' Dublin leader jailed for life for murder of Peter Butterly

Peter Butterly, who was murdered in Co Meath in 2013

THE alleged Dublin leader of the group known as the 'New IRA' has been jailed for life for the murder of another dissident republican six years ago.

Kevin Braney (44), of Glenshane Crescent, Tallaght, was found guilty by the Republic's Special Criminal Court of the "premeditated" murder of 35-year-old Peter Butterly.

The victim was chased and shot outside The Huntsman Inn in Gormanston, Co Meath in March 2013 in view of students waiting for a school bus.

The father-of-three died from gunshot wounds to his neck and upper back.

Braney had denied murdering Mr Butterly but after an 11-week trial, a judge ruled on Monday that he was involved in its organisation and planning beyond a reasonable doubt.

Braney had been under surveillance by gardaí for many years.

Last year he was sentenced to four years in prison for IRA membership after he threatened an accident victim by saying he would shoot him if he did not withdraw a claim against a former employer.

While he had been under observation on the day of the Butterly killing, gardaí said they were unable to prevent the shooting but stopped and arrested the killers in their stolen car a short distance away.

Evidence against Braney was given by Dave Cullen, a member of the dissident gang who turned state's witness and is now serving a sentence for possession of a firearm on the day of the murder.

A murder charge against him was dropped and he will enter a witness protection programme on his release from prison.

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