Belfast Telegraph

Vicious and unrepentant terrorist who seems to revel in inflicting pain on his victims

Dessie O'Hare
Dessie O'Hare
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

'Border Fox' Dessie O'Hare is back behind bars three decades after he was handed a 40-year sentence for his crimes against Dublin dentist Dr John O'Grady.

Dr O'Grady was dragged from his home in Cabinteely in front of his wife and their family in October 1987 by O'Hare and his gang, a splinter group of the INLA.

They demanded IR£1.5m in cash for Mr O'Grady's safe return.

Mr O'Grady had part of the little fingers on both hands severed with a hammer and chisel and left in a bloodied package in Carlow Cathedral as a warning of their intentions to further harm him if the ransom was not handed over.

He was freed after 23 days when gardai raided a farmhouse in Co Cork.

O'Hare escaped, but a month later was captured after a shootout which left gang member Martin Bryan dead.

O'Hare was handed a 40-year prison sentence, but freed in 2006 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

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Born in Co Armagh in 1958, he was a member of the IRA at the age of 16 but in 1979 switched to the INLA.

He earned his nickname 'The Border Fox' because of his cunning ability to evade the authorities, both north and south, before his final capture and incarceration.

In 1979 he was arrested by the Garda south of the border after he and an associate had been chased by the RUC.

That same year he was convicted of possession of a firearm and sentenced to nine years in Portlaoise Prison.

On New Year's Day 1987 O'Hare shot and wounded a Protestant neighbour, who was a part-time member of the UDR.

The victim's elderly mother was killed in the attack.

The following month O'Hare abducted Co Monaghan republican Tony McCluskey.

O'Hare used bolt cutters to slice off parts of McCluskey's anatomy before shooting him dead.

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