A detective sergeant told a judge yesterday his station colleagues received a 999 call saying he was going to be shot.

A few months later, Mr Justice Bernard Barton heard during a Garda Compensation claim, a bullet was found under the windscreen wiper of Det Sgt Joseph O’Hara’s private car.

Det Sgt O’Hara, aged 53, told a High Court hearing that, several years earlier, after having opposed bail for a defendant allegedly involved in gangland feuds, he received a call from his colleagues in Tallaght Garda Station warning him there was a contract out to shoot him.

The father of three said: “A contact indicated an INLA member had accepted an offer of Ir£5,000 and two automatic weapons to kill a witness and also to shoot two gardaí including me.”

Det Sgt O’Hara, who was stationed at Sundrive Road Garda Station, Crumlin, told his counsel, Pauline Walley, the Garda report had been confirmed a month later by Garda intelligence.

Det Sgt O’Hara had become very concerned for his now estranged wife and his children’s security. He had carried a firearm 24 hours a day, the court heard.

Det Sgt O’Hara, who burst into tears and had to step down from the witness box, said the State had refused to provide him with a firearm safe in his home and had refused to pay for security devices . He said he had got no reply from management over the issue of the firearm safe and a fire alarm to be fitted to prevent arson attacks.

“That’s what started the ball rolling and that’s why we are here today,” he said.

Det Sgt O’Hara is making a three-tier claim for compensation on the basis he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had blood pressure issues as a result of the incidents and threats to his life.

He told Judge Barton that, despite several reports recommending his home be made safer, management had only started now, 10 years later, to apply the recommendations.

“That’s a complete disgrace. I don’t want to down the organisation, but when somebody is threatened, you would expect they would be supported,” he said.

The case is at hearing.


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