Waterboarder was 'not a friend' of senior Sinn Féin figures

Jonathan Dowdall with Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald before his resignation from the party

A former Sinn Féin councillor who waterboarded and threatened to kill a man he believed was trying to defraud him was not a friend of Sinn Féin TDs Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams, the Special Criminal Court has been told.

The court adjourned sentencing of Jonathan Dowdall and his father Patrick Dowdall after hearing submissions from Jonathan Dowdall’s counsel Michael O’ Higgins SC.

Last month footage recorded on a mobile phone was shown to the court of Jonathan Dowdall (38) wearing a balaclava and holding a tea-towel to the man's face before pouring water over his head.

The court heard that Dowdall believed the victim, Alexander Hurley, was pretending to be a barrister and that he was seeking Dowdall's bank details in order to defraud him.

The two men had met after Dowdall had advertised a motorbike for sale on

Dowdall, with an address at Navan Road, Dublin 7 and his father Patrick Dowdall (59), of the same address, had both admitted to falsely imprisoning Mr Hurley by detaining him without his consent at Navan Road, Dublin 7 on January 15, 2015.

Both men had also pleaded guilty to threatening to kill Mr Hurley at the same place on the same date.

Yesterday, Mr O ‘Higgins submitted that a number of issues had arisen and the court should take them into account before passing sentence.

He said that his client did not invite Mr Hurley to dinner, but Hurley was coming to the house with a receipt. Counsel said that there had been suggestions that his client was a leading member of the IRA and a friend of Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams and this was not accepted by his client.

Mr O’ Higgins said that Mr Hurley had previous convictions for dishonesty and his word could not be accepted.

Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, presiding, said the court would adjourn the sentence until May 30th next.

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