A 37-year-old Dublin man, John Fitzpatrick from Fatima Mansions, has been jailed for seven and a half years for the manslaughter of drug addict Josie Dwyer. Fitzpatrick also received a two-year sentence for violent disorder. His co-accused Mark Cooke from Dolphin House was jailed for twenty months for violent disorder. The jury in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court had failed to agree a verdict on a manslaughter charge against him.
John Fitzpatrick and Mark Cooke were both members of a concerned parents group in the Dolphin's barn area of Dublin. Both attended a meeting in May 1996 and both went on patrol with a number of others. That night, Josie Dwyer, a 42-year-old drug addict ill with HIV, became the victim of the group, which pursued him and his friend Alan Byrne into the Basin Lane area. During a confrontation, Josie Dwyer was beaten and died later from a ruptured spleen. Two days after the attack John Fitzpatrick walked into Kilmainham Garda Station, broke down and confessed that he had killed Mr Dwyer with a lump hammer.
During the trial Fitzpatrick claimed he was drunk at the time and did not remember these confessions. He denied the charge of manslaughter but after 10 hours the jury found him guilty. Judge Dominic Lynch jailed him for seven and a half years, and he received a two-year concurrent sentence for violent disorder. After the hearing, Mr Fitzpatrick shouted "up the concerned parents". Mark Cooke was convicted of violent disorder and jailed for twenty months. Heavy army and Garda security surrounded the Four Courts when the two men were driven away to Portlaoise prison where they will serve their sentences.