By SEAN O'DRISCOLL
Tuesday February 23 1999
AN elderly couple, their daughter and son-in-law, were used by the John Gilligan drug gang to count and distribute over £1.5m, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard. AN elderly couple, their daughter and son-in-law, were used by the John Gilligan drug gang to count and distribute over £1.5m, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard.
The couple's other son, Russell Warren, was an ``accounts clerk'' for Gilligan and recruited his family members for the criminal enterprise, the court was told.
Russell Warren has been jailed for four years for laundering money for the Gilligan gang and is under the Witness Protection Programme.
Judge Dominic Lynch was told the accused were apprehended during the investigation into the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin.
Yvette Warren and Patrick Warren (both 69) pleaded guilty to handling money they knew was the proceeds of drug trafficking or other crimes, at their home in Heatherview Drive, Tallaght, on four dates between June and September 1996. Their daughter Nicola pleaded guilty to one count of the same offence.
She and her husband Brian Cummins (26), of Clonfert Road, Crumlin also pleaded guilty to handing over £10,000 to another man on behalf of the Gilligan gang in September 1996.
Detective Garda John Poole told prosecuting counsel Tom O'Connell BL that Yvette and Patrick Warren are parents of Russell Warren, whom he called an ``accounts clerk'' for the a gang lead by John Gilligan. Both are also under special garda supervision.
From June 1996 onwards, the couple and their daughter, Nicola, were hired to count large bags stuffed with cash which was brought into the house by Russell Warren.
Brian Cummins and Nicola Warren travelled together on September 28, 1996 to the car park of the Belgard Inn in Tallaght and passed on £10,000 to another man.
Following the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin, the Warren family home was raided in September 1996. Gardai found Ir£56,505 and Stg£7,500 inside.
All four accused made full confessions when arrested two days later. Each had been paid a very small amount for their services, with about £600 in total being given to Patrick and Yvette and a lesser amount going to Nicola.
Defence counsel Paul O'Higgins SC said all four were before the court as ``slightly bizarre and unplanned characters in the wider tapestry of matters which have now become notorious.'' They had had not come to the attention of the gardai before this.
Judge Lynch said that he needed time to consider the case and remanded all four for sentencing today.
- SEAN O'DRISCOLL