An overall sentence of five years’ imprisonment, with the last two suspended, was imposed at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said soliciting someone to murder three people caused considerable hurt and suffering. Not alone was there the threat of murder, he said, but the accused was prepared to fund it to have the threat executed.
“It is very worrying. I accept that as the matter went on he pulled back and did not further re-engage with it and, that by February 2013, he was not prepared to go further,” the judge said.
The three intended targets gave victim impact evidence. George Ross of the Revenue Commissioners said O’Flynn turned his and his family’s life upside down.
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“When driving around I found myself checking out my rear-view mirrors to see if anyone was following me. One morning I even checked under the car. I find I am constantly asking myself, ‘what if’,” Mr Ross said.
On behalf of accountant Patrick Sweeney, the Sweeney family said, “[The facts of the case] speak for themselves in terms of their depravity and cowardice… We forgive Mr O’Flynn for putting a price on something priceless: The sanctity of human life.”
Sergeant Mary Skehan said: “I made the decision that Gary O’Flynn was not going to intimidate me or put me in fear of my safety. I continued in my personal and professional life in my normal manner. I did not experience any undue fear in this matter due to a combination of my personal fortitude, my professional training, and the full support from my colleagues in An Garda Síochána including senior management.”
Det Garda Michael Horgan said in the fraud case that lay behind the murder solicitations, O’Flynn obtained a total of €3,465 from Bank of Ireland as a mortgage commission in a case where he had used falsified P60s, revenue, and financial reports.
Det Garda Horgan said: “In terms of his co-operation there was no co-operation. He and his extended family made several complaints to GSOC about members involved in the investigation.”
The defendant’s father — Former Fianna Fáil TD Noel O’Flynn — said: “We love our son very much. I am sure he has learned a number of lessons from recent events. We will support him 100%.”
Gary O’Flynn said he was extremely sorry. “I don’t know what was going through my head. I was afraid there was no logic to it. I was in a demented state of mind. I apologise to the three injured parties. I undertake never to go near these people for the rest of my life.”
Judge Ó Donnabháin said that there was a difference between O’Flynn, in the manner in which he contested another fraud trial last year and as he presented in court yesterday, and he now appeared to have remorse and some insight into the effects of his actions.