A LIMERICK woman who murdered an innocent father-of-two - and had six other targets lined up to murder - has been sentenced to life in prison by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.
Rose Lynch, 50, the daughter of local Republican Sinn Fein leader Joe Lynch, pleaded guilty to the murder of David Darcy, 39, as he reversed out of the driveway of his Dublin home on Cherry Orchard Avenue on the morning of November 28, 2011.
He was killed in a case of mistaken identity, based on false intelligence, and was not involved in criminality in any way.
The hit list that Lynch and her accomplice, a senior Continuity IRA member, were working from was drawn up after an internal split in the group.
Her father Joe Lynch, 72, from Ballinacurra Weston, said he is standing by his daughter, whom he remains proud of.
He said sheâ€™s a â€œgreat womanâ€ and a â€œRepublicanâ€.
â€œAs far as Iâ€™m concerned, as long as there are British soldiers in this country, thereâ€™ll be people like my daughter,â€ he said.
As she was led into custody yesterday, the defendant gave a clenched fist salute and exclaimed â€œMnÃ¡ na hÃ‰ireann, tiocfaidh Ã¡r lÃ¡â€ after unexpectedly pleading guilty to murder on the day her trial was due to begin.
Lynch was charged in December 2011 with the murder of Mr Darcy, who was employed as a driver for a local butcher and had been about to go to work when he was killed.
The Continuity IRA later issued a statement claiming the killing was a â€œmilitary operationâ€ on the house of a â€œcriminal drugs gangâ€, where the resident was involved in the shooting dead of Liam Kenny, the dissident republican groupâ€™s leader in Dublin.
Gardai described the statement as â€œtotal liesâ€.
Lynch, with an address at Oakleigh Wood, Dooradoyle, was also charged with membership of an illegal organisation, the IRA, otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann on November 28th, 2011.
Lynch is additionally charged with possession of a shotgun and revolver with intent to endanger life on November 28 2011, possession of a Walther pistol and eight rounds of ammunition on a date between November 25 and December 14, 2011 and possession of 25 rounds of 9mm ammunition at the Naas Road, Dublin on December 15, 2011.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Darcyâ€™s partner, Amanda Haverty and mother of their two children, said she would never forgive Lynch for what she had done.
His brother Mark described the killers as â€œexcuses for human beingsâ€, who had no consideration and hoped the case would prevent something similar happening to other families.
See the print edition of the Limerick Leader for more on this story.