A former Fianna Fáil TD has revealed that he suffered stress and depression following his son’s convictions for fraud and for soliciting a hitman to kill a garda, a revenue official and an accountant.
Noel O’Flynn’s son Gary, of Hayfield Drive, Whitechurch, Co Cork, was given a five-year sentence with the last two years suspended by Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin at Cork Circuit Criminal Court last April for soliciting to kill three people.
He had already been sentenced last July to three years in prison, with the final two years suspended, after a jury found him guilty of 13 sample counts of obtaining €1,000 by deception from a former builder between December 31, 2009, and January 27, 2012.
In March 2013, Gary O’Flynn also received a suspended sentence and fine for possession of a knife, threatening, abusive, or insulting behaviour and public disorder.
Speaking to Neil Prendeville on Cork’s Red FM yesterday, Noel O’Flynn said that he went to hospital with suspected heart problems when he suffered a pain in his arm upon learning of Gary’s first arrest, and that both he and his wife have suffered sleepless nights and illness as a result of the “trauma” they have suffered.
He said that Gary, a former Cork City councillor, had been diagnosed with mental illnesses that were the cause of his criminal actions.
“Gary made it quite clear in the court that he apologised to those that he had offended and when you hear what I have to say about his illness perhaps it’ll put some bit of measure on it,” Mr O’Flynn said of his reasons for going public yesterday.
Mr O’Flynn said that Gary suffered from a serious psychiatric illness but is responding well to treatment.
He highlighted the fact that Gary, having unknowingly solicited an undercover garda to kill three people, changed his mind and called off the murders before he was aware that he was being monitored.
“In the court our senior counsel was able to get the guards to admit that this whole saga was going nowhere, and halfways through this whole solicitation process Gary turned around and woke up and said ‘what is this about, what am I doing?’ and walked completely away from it,” Noel O’Flynn said.
“I think it’s important to put on the record here that Gary did apologise to the court on every occasion for his own difficulties and for offending the people that were involved. I spoke up as his father in the court, saying that we fully supported him and will continue to support him,” he said.
“I think hopefully after people listening today might see that this mental illness did cause the problems that led to the unusual behaviour out of him.”
Presenter Neil Prendeville asked Mr O’Flynn if he told his son he loved him, or was he angry with him throughout the ongoing situation.
“Every parent loves their child. We love all our children equally and we love Gary,” an emotional O’Flynn said.
Speaking of the people Gary O’Flynn had targeted to be killed, Mr O’Flynn said he had the “greatest sympathy and respect for anyone who felt threatened”.
“But let’s be quite clear about this, even the gardaí themselves realised that this was going nowhere. There was a plot, there was a plan, but it was all in the mind and it was really going nowhere,” he said.
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