Northern Ireland

Victim 'waterboarded' by ex-Sinn Féin man

Jonathan Dowdall Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption The hearing took place at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin on Friday

A former Sinn Féin councillor has been filmed torturing a man in his garage.

Jonathan Dowdall, 40, and his 60-year-old father, Patrick, of Navan Road in Dublin, admitted falsely imprisoning and threatening to kill a man in January 2015.

Videos played in court show them interrogating, threatening and waterboarding the victim, who came to the house to buy a motorcycle.

The victim said he was tortured to the point of "death's door".

The hearing took place at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin on Friday.

The victim is seen tied to a chair in the Dowdalls' garage as Jonathan Dowdall, who was wearing a balaclava, put a tea towel on his face and poured buckets of water over him.

Patrick Dowdall took out pliers and threatened to pull off the victim's fingers, starting with the smallest.

He wanted to frighten the victim

The victim is heard pleading for his life as the Dowdalls threatened to chop him up and feed him to the dogs.

He was tied with cable ties and told "one more twist and you're dead".

The court heard that he was also told he was "stupid" and "dumb" to mess with the IRA" and that Jonathan Dowdall was a good friend of Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald.

The court also heard the victim was a convicted fraudster.

Defence counsel said Jonathan Dowdall had searched the internet and discovered the victim had paid a man for a car with a bounced cheque.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Jonathan Dowdall seen here with Sinn Féin senior party members Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams

He said he was under huge pressure and as a businessman his whole life was built on his credit rating.

He said he wanted to frighten the victim not to use his bank details but now realised he was totally wrong and is sorry.

In a statement, the victim said the psychological injuries will never completely heal.

Sentencing will take place next month.

Deputy leader of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald, said: "I welcome the conviction of Jonathan Dowdall in court today.

"The details of the attack perpetrated by him are deeply shocking. I hope the sentence delivered by the court reflects the seriousness of the offence and the trauma endured by his victim.

"Jonathan Dowdall left Sinn Féin some years ago. He subsequently worked with, and supported, a political opponent of Sinn Féin in the Dublin Central constituency."