Patrick Holland (criminal)

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Patrick Eugene "Dutchy" Holland (died 6 June 2009), was an Irish career criminal, best known for being the first person accused of killing Irish investigative journalist Veronica Guerin, which he denied until his death in prison in England.[1][2]

Holland was born in Inchicore, Dublin. A skilled association football player, he spent time in the United States, where he joined the US Marine Corps.

Returning to Ireland in the 1960s, his first conviction for handling stolen goods was obtained at the age of 25, whilst working as the manager of a sausage company. At the time he had sympathies for and associations with both the Irish National Liberation Army and the Irish Republican Army.

Having married in his mid 30s, by the mid-1970s he was suspected by the Garda Síochána of carrying out a number of armed bank raids. In 1981 he was jailed for seven years for armed robbery at a hotel in Ballsbridge. Released after four years, in 1989 he was sentenced to ten years for possessing 7½lbs of Frangex explosive,[3] detonators and fuse wire,[4] allegedly for supply to the IRA.

Whilst in jail, he met John Gilligan and members of his gang, whom he joined on release in 1994. Whilst running a legitimate printing business as the front for a forgery operation,[5] Holland was suspected by the Gardaí of becoming a gun for hire, implicated in but never convicted of the killings of: Patrick Shanahan, shot in Crumlin in October 1994; publican Tom Nevin, shot in Jack White’s Inn, County Wicklow, in March 1996; Jimmy Redden, shot in a pub off Parnell Street, Dublin, in April 1996. Working alongside Charles Bowden in Gilligan's drugs gang, it was Bowden who supplied the gun which killed Guerin, a meeting attended by Holland.[4]

In 1997 while acting as a Garda witness, Bowden named Holland in a Dublin court as the man he supplied the .357 Magnum gun to, and hence suspected of shooting Guerin. In the wake of Guerin's killing, a period in which the Garda and the Criminal Assets Bureau made over 150 arrests to clear up Ireland's illegal drug problem, Holland was arrested at Dún Laoghaire ferry port on 9 April 1997. Initially arrested for involvement in Guerin's murder, after an inspection of his premises and assets he was eventually charged for possession and distribution of 10 kilograms (22 lb) of cannabis. During the trial in Dublin, Gardaí officer Marion Cusack said that she believed Holland was the gunman who killed Guerin in her car. Sentenced to 20 years for drug distribution, it was reduced to 12 years on appeal.[4] The CAB subsequently seized a small house near Brittas, County Wicklow, in compensation. Whilst in Portlaoise Prison, he befriended Colm Murphy, the first person to be convicted in connection with the Omagh bombing, but was resisted by his fellow members of the Real IRA from entering their area of the jail.[6]

Released from Portlaoise in April 2006,[7] he flew to Rome, Italy where his lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano had arranged a series of psychological tests and press interviews, in which Holland strongly denied the murder of Guerin.[4][8][9] Invited to appear on The Late Late Show, under public and political pressure the editorial board of RTÉ vetoed the interview.

Holland began mixing with a major Finglas drugs gang headed by Martin "Marlo" Hyland. After the Gardaí raided one of Hyland's houses and found Holland there, he made his way to England.

In May 2007, a year after being released from jail in Ireland, Holland was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in London, who were investigating a honey trap plot to kidnap a businessman for a £10 million ransom. After a month-long trial the jury unanimously convicted Holland together with John McDonnell, Gerard Booth and Khan Coombs of conspiracy to kidnap.[4] Whilst serving the subsequent eight-year term,[10] he was found dead in his cell at HMP Parkhurst, Isle of Wight on the morning of 6 June 2009.[11][12]

After his death, it emerged that Holland was planning to write an autobiography, having collated his notes via a series of recorded cassette tapes. These were handed by his family to the Irish Sunday Mirror, which subsequently published a series of articles in which Holland claimed that: yes, he was a bank robber by the early 1970s; he had set up a money-laundering network across Europe to hide his fortune from the CAB; he again denied the murder of Guerin.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Obituary of Patrick 'Dutchy' Holland". The Irish Times. 20 June 2009.
  2. ^ Henry McDonald (9 April 2006). "10 years later, still no peace for Veronica Guerin". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  3. ^ McElgunn, Joanne; "Dutchy takes Guerin lies to grave", The Sun 20 June 2009
  4. ^ a b c d e Adam Fresco (29 March 2008). "Veronica Guerin suspect, Patrick Holland, guilty of £10m kidnap plot". The Times. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  5. ^ a b Darren Boyle (14 March 2010). ""Dutchy" Holland – the secret tapes". Irish Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  6. ^ Valerie Robinson (18 January 2004). "CIRA man ostracised by inmates over book". Irish News. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Sky Exclusive: 'I Didn't Kill Veronica'". Sky News. 10 April 2006. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  8. ^ Chris Summers (2 May 2008). "Is this man Veronica Guerin's killer?". BBC News. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  9. ^ Brian Daly (10 April 2006). "Exclusive Sky News Ireland interview with Dutchy Holland". Sky News Ireland. Archived from the original on 3 June 2006. Retrieved 1 October 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ Chris Summers (2 May 2008). "Guerin suspect jailed for kidnap". BBC News. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  11. ^ Juno McEnroe (20 June 2009). "'Dutchy' Holland dies in jail in Britain". Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  12. ^ "'Dutchy' Holland dies in prison". Irish Times. 6 June 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2011.