Ex-SF councillor filmed torture of man in his garage, court hears
A court in Dublin has been shown a harrowing video of a Sinn Fein councillor torturing a man in his garage.
Jonathan Dowdall (40), who was a Sinn Fein member on Dublin City Council at the time of the incident in January 2015, also threatened to chop his victim up, take him to Tyrone, feed him to dogs and burn his head at the stake.
Dowdall believed he was being "duped" over the sale of a motorbike.
He invited the buyer to dinner, but instead he and his father Patrick Dowdall (60) imprisoned their victim in the garage for three hours.
The victim, Alexander Hurley, who has prior fraud convictions, pleaded for his life as Jonathan Dowdall covered his victim's face with a cloth and doused his head with water, while Patrick Dowdall threatened to cut his fingers off with pliers.
The pair eventually let their victim go. Garda only discovered what they had done when they searched the Dowdalls' Dublin home for a separate reason and found a video of the incident. The Special Criminal Court saw the grim footage of Mr Hurley's interrogation.
The father and son, both of Navan Road, Dublin 7, pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning and threatening to kill Mr Hurley on January 15, 2015.
Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy said the three-judge court wished to reflect before sentencing and adjourned the case to May 19.
Detective Inspector William Hanrahan said Garda searched the Dowdalls' home on March 9, 2016 "in relation to another matter" when they found a USB stick with the videos. Mr Hurley was found and told Garda he had agreed to buy a motorbike Jonathan Dowdall had put up for sale online.
But when he went to the house on January 15, he was pushed into the garage, backed into a swivel chair and bound with white cable ties.
He heard someone say they'd "feed him to dogs, chop him up, place him in cellophane bags and store him in the boot of a BMW" if he did not "tell the truth".
Jonathan Dowdall, wearing a balaclava, placed a tea towel over Mr Hurley's head and poured a full bucket of water over him. He could not breathe and thought he was being drowned.
Mr Hurley said he was told he would be fed to Dobermans, chopped up, brought to Tyrone, part of him would be buried in the mountains and his head would be burned at the stake.
He was told he was a "stupid dumb f*** to mess with the head of the IRA" and that Jonathan Dowdall was a friend of Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald. He was told to get out of Dublin.
Dowdall resigned from Dublin Council in February 2015, and later left Sinn Fein.