Northern Ireland

Ex-INLA chief Dessie ‘the border fox’ O’Hare released from prison

Earning his nickname from eluding authorities on either side of the border, he had been in Portlaoise Prison for attempted violent eviction in Dublin

Dessie O'Hare, known as the 'Border Fox', was once the most wanted man in Ireland
Dessie O'Hare, known as the Border Fox, was once the most wanted man in Ireland.

DESSIE O’Hare, the former INLA chief known as the border fox who was once Ireland’s most wanted man, has been released from prison in the republic.

O’Hare was released from Portlaoise Prison on Thursday after serving a 10-year sentence (with three suspended) for a violent attempt to evict Martin Byrne and his family from their home in Dublin in 2015.

His Border Fox moniker came from his ability to elude authorities on either side of the border during his time in the IRA and later INLA.

Sentenced in Dublin’s Special Criminal Court in 2019 for the attack on Mr Byrne, who had to enter witness protection, O’Hare had also been sentenced 40 years earlier to two 20-year terms for the kidnap and torture of dentist Dr John Grady.

He had held him for a £1.5m ransom while moving him around the country.

During the ordeal, O’Hare had notoriously removed two of Dr O’Grady’s fingers using a hammer and chisel before leaving them in a church as a warning.

When Dr O’Grady was rescued, O’Hare was shot eight times in an armed raid in Urlingford, Co Kilkenny.

He had been released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement from Castlerea Prison in Co Roscommon in 2006 before his later conviction.