Rose Lynch, aged 50, told gardaí that she executed David Darcy, aged 39, and had “emptied a handgun” during the murder of the van driver, who the non-jury court heard was “wholly blameless” and not involved in criminality.
Passing sentence, presiding judge Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said the incident could only be described as “a premeditated, calculated, and cold-blooded murder”.
Lynch was charged in Dec 2011 with the murder of the father-of-two, who was shot dead sitting in his van at Cherry Orchard Avenue on Nov 28, 2011.
Mr Darcy, who worked as a driver for a local butcher, had been about to go to work when he was killed.
Ms Justice Dunne said that a matter of great hurt to Mr Darcy’s family was the manner in which the victim’s good name was subject to attack from the unlawful organisation of which Lynch was a member.
The court had heard that in a statement, the CIRA had claimed responsibility for what it described as a “military operation” on Cherry Orchard Avenue on Nov 28, 2011, alleging that the residents of the house belonged to a criminal drugs gang and were involved in killing of Dublin CIRA “officer commanding” Liam Kenny.
However, Ms Justice Dunne said the evidence was “crystal clear” that Mr Darcy was wholly innocent, was not involved in criminality, and was a man “going about his business”, concerned about earning a living, his family, and his social life. “The court accepts fully that he [Mr Darcy] was an innocent victim of an appalling crime.”
The judge said the court noted the victim impact statements of Mr Darcy’s partner Amanda Haverty, who described how “the love of her life” had survived a brain tumour before his murder, and his Henry Darcy, who described how his wife could not comprehend how a mother could kill another mother’s son.
Ms Justice Dunne said although the court noted that Lynch had pleaded guilty, saving the victim’s family the ordeal of a lengthy trial, the defendant had not offered “any single expression of remorse” for the murder.
Lynch repeated her refrain of “tiocfaidh ár lá” as she was led away from the dock by prison officers, which was answered by sustained applause from the family and friends of David Darcy.
The court heard that Lynch, of Oakleigh Wood, Dooradoyle, Limerick, who had no previous convictions, was a committed voluntary worker, drug addiction counsellor, and anti-drug trafficking campaigner.
The mother-of-four, who studied for a degree in applied social studies and psychology, also received concurrent sentences totalling 31 years after she pleaded guilty to IRA membership and the possession of firearms and ammunition.
Lynch had pleaded guilty to possession of a shotgun and Webley revolver with intent to endanger life on Nov 28, 2011, possession of a Walther pistol and eight rounds of ammunition on a date between Nov 25 and Dec 14, 2011, and possession of 25 rounds of 9mm ammunition at Naas Rd, Dublin, on Dec 15, 2011.
Asked how she pleaded to a charge of membership of an illegal organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise the IRA, otherwise Oglaigh na hÉireann, on Nov 28, 2011, Lynch replied: “I’m guilty but I’m very proud of it.”
Paul Greene, prosecuting, had told the court that Lynch and a male accomplice used a stolen Opel Astra car to “stake out” and surveil Mr Darcy’s home and were lying in wait for him on that morning.
He said that, whether as a result of misinformation or mistaken identity, the victim was the wholly unfortunate victim of a killing and the circumstances of his death may be explained by a misapprehension on Lynch’s part.
Det Insp Colm O’Malley, said that in her fifth interview with gardaí, Lynch admitted her involvement and told officers: “I executed David Darcy.”
He told Mr Greene that gardaí were “absolutely satisfied” that the allegations against Mr Darcy were lies, that he was not involved in any criminality, and was an “honest man going about his daily routines.”