A man imprisoned for his life for the death of Kenneth O'Brien – who shot his head and broke into his back garden – spent time in prison for gunfire offenses connected with dissident democrats.
Paul Wells (50), a five-year-old father at Barnamore Park, Finglas, Dublin, gave the mandatory life sentence following a jury's Criminal Court jury who found him guilty.
Now it can be revealed that Wells has been linked to dissident republicans for most of his adult life and is closely linked to a southern Dublin convicted of terrorist offenses in a European country.
Originally from Ballyfermot, Wells was known to guard and had four convictions for gunfire offenses until 1996.
Although he was detained in Cloverhill awaiting the trial of Mr. Brian's murder, Wells has spent time in the Republican prison wing of Portlaoise over the years.
He was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment in 1996 for gunfire crime. It was found with a mass of weapons, including two rotating spins, a sawmill, three sawmills, and a rifle. It is believed that the weapons belong to dissidents.
It was also used by Real IRA to expose people and businesses.
Wells seemed calm ahead and did not react when the jury gave the verdict yesterday afternoon after just five hours of talks.
As he was detained, he said "I am very sorry" about Mr O'Brien's family.
Wells had admitted that he was not guilty of murdering Mr. O'Brien (33) at his home in Finglas from 15 to 16 January 2016.
He admitted he shot him dead, but said it happened when he fought for a series after Mr. O'Brien appeared in his house with a gun.
Wells claimed to shoot Mr. O'Brien in his garden shed, as the couple was involved in a shame. He claimed to have been self-defense. Deputy Pathologist Dr. Michael Curtis showed that the gun was pressed to the back of Mr. Brian's head before being shot.
After destroying him in the head, Wells dragged Mr. O'Brien's body to his back garden and broke it with a chainsaw.
After his capture, Wells describes the scene in an interview with the Guarda as a "clean carnage."
Then he put the trunk in a suitcase and his head and ends in shopping bags, which then fell to the Grand Canal at Co Kildare.
The trunk was found on January 16, 2016, and nine additional body parts were found in four shopping bags on the canal on Jan. 25.
Wells claimed that Mr. Brien wanted to murder his partner Eimear Dunne to bring his new son Charlie to live with him in Australia, but Wells refused to kill her.
Wells remained stationary as the verdict was surrendered yesterday, with his eyes running from the jury to Justice Paul McDermott.
Michael O Higgins SC, defending, said his client had asked him to say that he and the dead were close friends and deeply regrets what happened.
He accepted the jury's verdict but "claims it is a mistake", indicating that it would make it attractive.
Mr Paul McDermott expressed his condolences to Mr. O'Brien's family and said the conditions of his death "were undoubtedly unpleasant and shocking" for them.
He acknowledged the "dignity with which they brought it" to the trial, during which many "unpleasant things" were reported.
He pledged the mandatory life sentence, claiming it until February 6, 2016, when Wells was detained.