13 October-Kidnap of Dr John O’Grady

Dentist John O’Grady was kidnapped in 1987 by Dessie O’Hare and three other INLA members. O’Hare had formerly been a member of the IRA. The gang’s intended target was the dentist’s father-in-law Professor Dr Austin Darragh. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of £1.5 million for the release of John O’Grady.

The ordeal for Dr O’Grady and his family began when the gang broke into their home, Manor House, in Cabinteely, Co Dublin and abducted Dr O’Grady. He was held captive for 23 days while his abductors demanded the ransom. When the ransom demands were not met O’Hare used a hammer and chisel to cut the little finger form each of O’Grady’s hands. He then sent the severed fingers to the Cathedral of the Assumption in Carlow town. The ransom was never paid.

The abduction was followed by a huge Garda search. The kidnappers kept moving their victim to different locations during his three week ordeal. They initially held their captive in a basement in Dublin City but later moved him to Cork. By the time the Gardaí raided the location in Cork the kidnap gang had already moved their captive back to Dublin. Dr O’Grady was finally freed when the Gardaí raided a house in Cabra in north Dublin. His kidnappers escaped but were captured later and O’Hare was sentenced to forty years in prison. Dr O’Grady died in September 2016.

The kidnapping of Dr John O’Grady took place in the year 1987 On This Day.

Carlow Cathedral by Nico Kaiser on 2012-10-21 11:44:05


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