Sunday, 19 December 2010

Top criminal in jail threat to kill girlfriend's new man

Sunday Tribune

Mick McCaffrey, Security Editor
Natasha McEnroe and Brian Rattigan: together for 12 yearsThe prison service and gardaí have launched separate investigations after one of the country's most feared criminals threatened the life of an innocent member of the public in a postcard sent from the country's highest security prison.
The Sunday Tribune understands that a major probe was launched after Brian Rattigan, the leader of one of the notorious Crumlin/Drimnagh feuding gangs, threatened a man whom he believed has got his former partner pregnant.
Rattigan, who is serving a life sentence for murder at Portlaoise prison, received a visit from his partner of 12 years, Natasha McEnroe, on 23 November. McEnroe informed the gang boss that she had met a new man and was leaving Rattigan for him.
Rumours are circulating that Natasha McEnroe is pregnant by her new man and Rattigan is livid at what he regards as his former partner's betrayal.
The pair had been together for 12 years and have a nine-year-old daughter. McEnroe had remained loyal to the gang boss even though he has been in prison for a variety of offences for nearly seven years. When she broke the news, Rattigan lost his temper and tried to assault McEnroe before being restrained by four prison officers and put in solitary confinement.
Two days later, gardaí received intelligence reports that a close associate of Rattigan made contact with a known hitman from Dublin 8 and said that Rattigan (29) wanted McEnroe's new lover dead and was prepared to pay any sum of money for it to happen.
Gardaí immediately offered the pair personal security advice and friends of the young couple have advised them to move abroad because Rattigan is so jealous and dangerous. The gang boss is understood to be very embarrassed that his long-term partner was cheating on him with another man and is afraid that he is being laughed at.
Last week, a postcard arrived at the 24-year-old man's house which had been sent from Portlaoise, prison sources said.
It said: "Dear XXX. Hope all is good with you and you have a Happy Christmas. Maybe the New Year might bring you something new. Enjoy it. From your friend, Brian".
Every letter that is sent from Portlaoise prison is checked by censors to ensure that no threats or inappropriate material is included and Rattigan, being aware of this, chose his words very carefully. Prison sources say the card was postmarked Portlaoise.
Nevertheless sources say that Natasha McEnroe's new lover got the message loud and clear, is extremely concerned about falling foul of Rattigan and is considering his options about where he will reside in the future.
It is understood detectives will quiz Rattigan about the alleged threats.
Last March, Nastasha McEnroe was arrested after the names and addresses of the jury that convicted Brian Rattigan for murder were found in an apartment where she was staying.
Gardaí found several confidential garda documents, including an intelligence bulletin that was stolen from a garda car, as well as the jury list.
After being quizzed for two days, McEnroe was released without charge. The jury list related to the murder of Declan Gavin in 2001.
Last December, Rattigan was found guilty of the murder of Gavin, who was stabbed to death outside a fast-food outlet in Crumlin. It was the first murder in the so-called Crumlin/Drim­nagh feud, which has claimed the lives of 16 people so far.
During the trial, there were attempts to intimidate witnesses and gardaí involved in the case. Judge Barry White commented on this when the verdict was handed down.
White was forced to jail one Rattigan associate for contempt of court after he turned up in court each day and stared at jurors and potential witnesses in what was blatant intimidation. Two gardaí were openly threatened with murder during the case.
Mick McCaffrey is the author of Cocaine Wars: Fat Freddie Thompson and the Crumlin/ Drimnagh Feud. He will present a four-part TV3 documentary on the book which begins at 9pm on Tuesday 4 Jannary
December 19, 2010

Suspects in gangland double murder flee across border

Sunday Tribune

Ali Bracken, Crime Correspondent
Scene of the double murderTWO criminals suspected of carrying out a double murder at a petrol station in Dublin last month have fled to Northern Ireland, it is understood.
Gardaí were baffled by the double murder of cousins Glen Murphy (20) and Mark Noonan (23) on 24 November at the Tesco petrol station at the Clearwater shopping centre on Finglas Road in Dublin. But sources have now confirmed the two main suspects are criminals known to gardaí. Both are in their 20s.
Although neither is originally from Coolock, both are part of a Coolock gang involved in an ongoing gangland feud and both are linked to the murder of gangland criminal BJ Clarke last year. They each have previous criminal convictions. One of the men was recently arrested in possession of a garda uniform and a large sum of cash.
No clear motive has been established by gardaí for the double murder. One theory is that Murphy and Noonan were sourcing weapons for another criminal gang and became involved in a row with the Coolock gang as a result.
The victims were not known to gardaí for involvement in organised crime. Both were single and unemployed. Murphy had served a short prison sentence for criminal damage. Detectives at one point suspected the cousins may have been murdered in a case of mistaken identity but no longer believe this to be case. An investigation is ongoing to establish a definitive motive for the killings.
While gardaí are satistfied as to the identity of the men responsible for their murders, there is not yet enough evidence against the pair. On the night of their murder, Murphy and Noonan went to the Tesco petrol station for cigarettes. They parked their car and walked towards the service hatch. A BMW 5 series carrying three men was lying in wait and pulled alongside. Two occupants opened fired on the men from the moving vehicle with automatic pistols.
December 19, 2010

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Gardai on alert as Freddie celebrates 30th birthday

Irish Herald

By Cormac Byrne

Thursday December 16 2010

GARDAI were on high alert today as gangster ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson celebrated his 30th birthday.

Officers put a sophisticated security operation in place to thwart plans by rivals to take the mobster out on his birthday.

Thompson – whose gang have been behind the bloody Drimnagh/Crumlin feud – was due in Dublin from Spain later today to spend his birthday with his mum, whose birthday falls tomorrow.

Thompson kicked off week-long celebrations by attending the European title fight between Matthew Macklin and Ruben Varon in Liverpool last weekend.

He was joined at the fight by Gary Hutch, a nephew of exgangster Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch. Gardai in the Dublin south central division have devised a plan to avoid trouble tonight.

Thompson partied earlier this week with bailed gangster Christy Kinahan in Spain.

European arrest warrants exist for both men, who are wanted by Spanish police investigating the ‘Irish mafia’ on the Costa del Sol, headed by Christy Kinahan.

Thompson may also seek to oversee the activities of his street dealers here. One of these individuals is believed to have been broadcaster Gerry Ryan’s cocaine dealer.

The notorious gangster has recently been hiding out on the continent, along with Hutch.

There are fears in south Dublin that Thompson’s arrival could spark violence, as he continues to intimidate small-time dealers into paying their drug debts.

A Dublin source said: “There is an expectation in the south inner city that Freddie will be back for a bash over the coming days. Hi mother’s birthday is this week too and he could show up at that party.”

Thompson is reportedly under pressure from Russian drug trafficking gangs over debts after gardai scored major seizures in the summer costing his gang almost €12 million worth of cocaine.

The criminal, from the Coombe, has spent the last few months jumping between Holland, Britain and Spain to avoid police.

Thompson has risen to prominence in the last decade for his part in the Crumlin- Drimnagh crime feud which has claimed the lives of 16 men.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued for him and his associate Gary Hutch in relation to their knowledge of Kinahan's billion euro drugs empire and the murder of hitman Paddy Doyle in Esteponsa Spain, in 2008.

He can be arrested on sight by any police service including the gardai but has evaded capture until now.

It is believed that if Thompson appears next week the gardai could use the opportunity to pounce.


During his last visit to Dublin he was seen socialising with his girlfriend and also oversaw the tooling up of his gang to ward off any extortion bids from the Real IRA.

Thompson is understood to have organised a shipment of weapons into the city in case members of his gang were targeted by the north Dublin Real IRA cell that is extorting money from drug dealers.

According to sources Thompson believes the gang will be subject to a tax on drug profits from the Real IRA gang.

The weapons haul was discovered by gardai in the capital.

- Cormac Byrne

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Una Mullally - So that's that then. Another shooting in Finglas – a pair of gangland killings. Only look a little closer...

Sunday Tribue

The scene where Glen Murphy and Mark Noonan were shot dead last month On Tuesday 23 November, cousins Glen Murphy (20) and Mark Noonan (23) left a friend's house to buy cigarettes at 20 minutes to midnight. They drove to a petrol station near the Clearwater shopping centre in Finglas in north Dublin. Soon after they got out of their car, they were shot dead by gunmen who were waiting in the forecourt.
That's that then. Another shooting in Finglas, another couple of kids dead. Except, not really.
The media uses a variety of coded phrases to get information across in a vaguely esoteric way. If a woman is found murdered and the person arrested is said to be "known to the victim" then it is most likely that it is her husband or partner.
If a body is found and the gardaí "aren't looking for anyone else in connection" with the death, then it's a suicide. If a man is shot and was "known to gardaí" then it's a gangland crime. In road deaths, phrases like "single vehicle collision" and "early hours of the morning" allude to speeding or drink driving or both.
There are plenty more nuanced phrases, words and clues that are planted – or indeed omitted – in news reports to get information across without actually spelling it out. The effect turns out to be a predictable framework of news reporting filled with repetitive phrases. Sometimes it feels as though you could just replace the names and places in a report and the "facts", generally made up of insinuations, would merely work around it. It's news bingo.
So hearing "two men shot in Finglas" sets off a variety of triggers in our assumptions based on how we have been trained to process news. Finglas = gangs. Guns = gangs. Young men = gangs. But sometimes, in spite of the vocabulary of reporting, things aren't always as they are assumed to be.
The chief inaccuracy was the actual location of the shooting. As the story broke, it was described as a "shooting outside Tesco" even though the two men weren't shot outside Tesco, and if the majority of people who were reporting on the shooting had bothered to travel to the area, they would have seen that they were shot outside a Tesco Extra petrol station, a good bit away from the actual supermarket. But with a shooting outside the most benign representations of the suburbs, a Tesco, is a slightly better story and more visual for the reader or listener, so let's go with that.
We were told it was a "gangland-style attack" and a "well-planned ambush". Then almost as an afterthought, it was mentioned that the victims were in fact not known to gardaí, that they had no known involvement in organised crime and that the motive for their murders was unclear. Oh, well, that changes it a bit then, doesn't it?
Imagine then if this shooting had happened in Dun Laoghaire, or Mallow, or Tullamore. What language would be used then? Well, for one, the murders would have actually got massive coverage, something these victims apparently didn't merit given that, apart from being unwitting victims of their geography, they were also victims of a busy news day which saw a double murder – a pretty big story – quickly shoved down the news agenda thanks to the economic news that was pouring out of government buildings and beyond.
Although they weren't "known to gardaí" for being involved in Dublin's sprawling gangland network – they were "minor criminals" apparently. What's a "minor criminal"? Someone who touts tickets outside gigs? Someone who was nicked for shoplifting a few times? Whatever it is, it's irrelevant to their deaths. If a businessman is done for fraud, are his parking tickets brought up in reports? Of course not. But bringing it up here appeased the narrative of victim-guilt that we have become to associate with gang crime. If you're shot, you probably asked for it, we have been taught.
We don't hear much about young men gunned to death, they're just clocked up in the annual statistics for annual gun crime. Even those guilty of crimes – drug dealers, hitmen, gangsters, or those guilty of crimes within crimes – owing money to drug dealers, getting on the wrong side of a gang, being associated with someone whose number is up.
And then, perhaps more tragically, those caught in the crossfire: mistaken identity, a gun that wasn't meant to go off, a young plumber in a house where a hit is being carried out, an unlucky bystander.
And lumping them all into one category that has a blurry file name of "gangs" or "Finglas" or "guncrime" or whatever else is just a convenient brushing aside that allows us as a society not to think about them. They were probably just junkies, "scrotes", dealers, criminals, gangsters. But what if they weren't? What if they were just buying cigarettes in a petrol station?
Hold me...
This weekend I'll be at the recording of Other Voices in Dingle, one of the most magical music events of the year for the past nine years. You won't be able to get much better on a winter's night tonight than watching The National with a handful of people in a tiny church. Jealous? Mwoahaha.
Thrill me...
So now I know what it's like to sleep on the streets. On Wednesday night in sub-zero temperatures, I camped out on College Green in Dublin city centre from 9pm until 4am to raise money for Open Heart House on World Aids Day. So far me and my friend Will have raised over €2,300 online. Thanks so much for the support!
Kiss me...
One thing this desperate weather has done is make businesses work extra hard for customers. With restaurants offering free coffees, and clubs dropping their cover charges, perhaps we'll see more snow-related value in the run up to Christmas. That's what I call a price freeze.
Kill me
It's not the snow I hate, it's the ice. The snow is fine. Snow makes snowballs and snowmen and sledding possible. However, I have had a series of comedy falls last week thanks to the evil ice. Nothing like snotting yourself on multiple occasions in front of people...
December 5, 2010

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

RIRA killers were Whacker Duffy minders

Irish Herald

By Cormac Byrne

Wednesday December 01 2010

A REAL IRA unit blamed for a ganglad double murder in Dublin worked as minders for INLA boss Declan 'Whacker' Duffy, it's been revealed.

The extortion gang started out as heavies for the INLA and are now demanding a 20pc drugs tax from crime gangs.

The RIRA unit, regarded as Dublin's most dangerous dissident grouping, is blamed for the murder of low-level drug dealer Sean Winters (40) and Daniel Gaynor (25) in the summer. The group claimed the deaths in a statement issued recently.

According to republican sources the leaders of the Real IRA cell, who are two brothers living in the Donaghmede area of north Dublin, acted as Duffy's bodyguards over a decade ago.

"These guys used to be lowly bodyguards and now they are running the show," a source told the Herald. The INLA only have a couple of units and they are completely intimidated by the Reals at the moment.

"The INLA are the butt of jokes now in Dublin amongst republicans."


Duffy, now an ex-INLA man, became a notorious figure in Dublin's gangland over his involvement in the Ballymount Bloodbath and his feud with the Freddie Thompson crime gang in the south inner city.

Much of the violence concerned Duffy's involvement in extortion rackets.

His life had been threatened on a number of occasions by Thompson gang members before he was arrested in 2008 and charged with membership of the INLA.

Duffy has since received a separate 24-year sentence in Britain in July for the 1992 Derby killing of Sergeant Michael Newman but is likely to benefit from the early release scheme that was set up under the Good Friday Agreement.

The former terrorist leader became a figure of derision within INLA divisions after he publicly disassociated himself with the organisation in 2009.

Duffy was beaten in prison a year ago after his statement and a prison officer was also injured as he tried to come to Duffy's aid.

He is likely to be released in just two years' time.

The INLA have ceased to be a major force in the capital since Duffy's imprisonment.

- Cormac Byrne

Friday, 26 November 2010

Gardai fear cousins shot on orders of ‘drug tax’ brothers

Irish Herald
Gardai fear cousins shot on orders of ‘drug tax’ brothers

By Cormac Byrne, CRIME DESK

Friday November 26 2010

GARDAI fear the two cousins gunned down in Tesco were victims of a RIRA gang enforcing a 'drugs tax'.

The Republican gang has been demanding a 20pc cut of drugs profits from all Dublin's major criminal outfits -- including 'Fat' Freddie's gang.

It's now thought the unemployed cousins were murdered because they refused to hand over money to the RIRA gang, led by three brothers.

Mark Noonan (23) and Glen Murphy (19) were executed in a hail of 15 bullets after stopping at the Tesco filling station in Clearwater, Finglas.

The Republican brothers who are leading the Real IRA racketeering gang were kicked out of the Continuity IRA and also have links to an INLA protection gang. They have been attempting to control the pub door security business in Dublin to run the weekend “recreational” drugs market in the city.

More recently they have approached all the major crime gangs, including ‘Fat Freddie’ Thompson’s outfit, and one major hotelier demanding a 20pc slice of all their takings.

“They are seriously violent. They are capable of anything. Now you see them in the frame for taking out two low-level gang members. What’s next?” said a senior source today.

The victims were thought to be 'bag men' for a drugs gang.

Gardai came within seconds of catching the three killers in a 06D BMW 5 Series but the gunmen were able to shake off the pursuing patrol car, reaching speeds of 200kph. The getaway car was heading in the direction of Dundalk on the M1 when it was lost.

Gardai are looking into the phone records of both of the deceased to determine whether they were lured to their deaths.

CCTV footage shows the two gunmen and an accomplice entering the forecourt of the filling station and driving around a number of times five minutes before the killing.

Gardai suspect that this evidence could prove the murdered cousins were ambushed.

“The Real IRA gang led by the brothers has been involved in several murders to date.

“They have been threatening so-called ODCs (ordinary decent criminals) demanding cash,” said a source.


“Just recently ‘Fat Freddie’ Thompson was tooling up with grenades, rocket launchers and AK47s to take on this outfit and protect his own patch,” the source added.

The murdered cousins did not have connections with any of the major drugs gangs in the city. Gardai are examining whether the victims had called to the murder scene by arrangement — but their behaviour suggests they were not aware of the killers' presence.

An examination of the two men's phones should confirm what calls they either made or received in the hours before their murders. A 60-strong garda team, consisting of local gardai and officers from National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI), is investigating the puzzling killing.

Gardai have said that the possibility the men were killed in a case of mistaken identity was slim given the nature of the hit.

“The clinical nature of the shootings indicates that this was a very well-organised hit and it would be very surprising if they made such a basic error,” an officer said.

Detectives are also examining both victims' backgrounds to see of they were involved in any personal disputes.

One of the men’s aunts, Barbara Murphy, said the family were “simply devastated”. “Mark's girlfriend is in such shock that she collapsed a few times. We don't know why this happened but we want whoever did this caught,” she said.

The grief-stricken mothers, sisters Geraldine and Michelle, are now staying with another sister as they attempt to cope with their loss. Gardai are appealing for anyone with information to contact the incident room at Finglas Garda Station on 01- 6667532, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

- Cormac Byrne, CRIME DESK

Monday, 22 November 2010

ERU on streets as new Fat Freddie war erupts

Irish Herald

By Cormac Byrne

Monday November 22 2010

ARMED gardai have been deployed to south Dublin after gang boss Fat Freddie ordered a sickening attack on one of his own lieutenants.

Heavily armed units from the Emergency Response Unit have been running checkpoints across Crumlin and Drimnagh to quell gangland tensions.

A row has erupted within the ranks of Fat Freddie Thompson's drug trafficking gang which threatens to explode into all-out war.

Thompson ordered the attack after his lieutenant made lewd comments about an old flame of his, leading to a vicious 'Glasgow smile' slashing.

A Glasgow smile is a nickname for the result of cutting a victim's face from the edges of the mouth to the ears. The cut leaves horrific scars which form what resembles a smile.

He was slashed across both cheeks in a bid to leave his face permanently disfigured. He also suffered a laceration to his forehead and was heavily beaten in the attack.

The victim was once a leading member of Freddie's gang.

"There is a real fear that extreme violence could escalate in south Dublin," a source told the Herald.

"The ERU operation has been successful so far but there are players out there hell-bent on revenge."

Elite officers from the crack armed unit have been operating roving checkpoints around South Dublin to quell tension on the area.

The atmosphere had been at fever pitch in recent weeks after nights of Halloween violence which involved gun and grenade attacks linked to the King Ratt crime gang.

The gardai spend only about 20 minutes at each random checkpoint before moving to another location.

The operation's objective is to thwart the activities and movements of gangland criminals and sources say the plan is working.

It also provides gardai with intelligence on the current state of the most active gangs, as well as the hierarchy and make-up of the gangs, which are constantly evolving.

Thompson and his gangland pal Gary Hutch are currently in hiding in Amsterdam's criminal underworld after European Arrest Warrants were issued for the pair by Spanish police.

Authorities in the Costa Del Sol wish to quiz them over the killing of gun-for-hire Paddy Doyle in 2008 in the Costa Del Sol and their involvement with Christy Kinahan's drugs empire.

Under the terms of the warrant the gangster can be arrested by gardai on sight and deported to Spain.


Spanish authorities believe that the men's accounts of what happened that day could be the key to discovering Doyle's killer.

The pair may face charges for withholding information if and when they are detained.

Doyle was travelling in a jeep along with Thompson and Hutch in Estepona in February 2008 when their vehicle was stopped.

Doyle was shot twice in the head, while his pals narrowly avoided injury in the attack.

Fat Freddie has been travelling between Holland, England and Ireland in recent months and has been carrying out attacks and intimidation tactics on dealers in Dublin.

- Cormac Byrne

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Armed gardaí crack down on gangland blackspots with checkpoints across Dublin

Sunday Tribune

Ali Bracken, Crime Correspondent
The elite Emergency Response Unit (ERU) are operating 'roving checkpoints' in parts of north and south Dublin IRELAND'S most elite and heavily-armed gardaí have been deployed to Dublin's most active gangland blackspots as part of Operation Hybrid.
Last weekend, members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) mounted a checkpoint in the south inner city as part of the force's current crackdown on serious organised criminality. The ERU is a specialist armed intervention unit under the Special Detective Unit. At present, the elite officers are operating "roving checkpoints" in parts of north and south Dublin. The armed officers, in conjunction with local gardaí, have been mounting checkpoints in parts of Ballymun, Finglas, Blanchardstown, Crumlin, Drimnagh, Clondalkin, Ballyfermot, Ronanstown and Tallaght.
The gardaí spend only about 20 minutes at each random checkpoint before moving to another location.
The operation's objective is to thwart the activities and movements of gangland criminals and sources say it is having the desired effect. It also provides gardaí with intelligence on the current state of the most active gangs, as well as the hierarchy and make-up of the gangs, which are constantly evolving.
Random checkpoints and car searches have been putting organised criminals under pressure and their visibility is a constant reminder that their activities are under surveillance.
Tensions among criminals in Ballyfermot and Clondalkin are at an all-time high. Four men have been murdered in a feud in the past 14 months.
The most recent victim was shot dead just two weeks ago. The ERU has been mounting frequent checkpoints in Ballyfermot and Clondalkin.
ERU training is carried out at the garda Tactical Training Unit in Templemore. The specialist gardaí also receive training with the Ranger Wing of the Irish Army, and in the past have been trained by the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team. The officers are sometimes trained abroad in Germany, the UK and the US.
ERU officers are required to qualify three times per year in all firearms being used by the unit.
Training consists of in-house tactical training on an ongoing basis from the ERU's own firearms instructors and refresher range practice. Weapons they are trained to use include the Remington 870 pump-action shotgun and Uzi sub-machine guns.
November 21, 2010

Monday, 8 November 2010

Seven held in gang investigation

Irish Times

Gardai arrest 13 in major operation | 08/11/2010
Gardaí are continuing to question seven men arrested as part of a major operation targeting gangland crime earlier this week.
Six men are being held at Garda stations in Dublin and another man is being questioned in Co Wexford, a Garda spokesman said today. Six others, questioned in Dublin, Cork and Wexford, have since been released.
Some 300 gardaí met at Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, and in Wexford and Cork stations in the early hours of Monday before raiding over 30 locations in a co-ordinated pre-dawn operation spanning counties Dublin, Cavan, Wexford, Cork and Kildare.
Gardaí seized a small quantity of cocaine and confiscated mobile phones, computers and bulletproof vests during the raids, as well as records linked to property investments which were taken from the offices of solicitors and accountants by members of the Criminal Assets Bureau.
The target of the so-called “super raid” was a drug-trafficking gang based mainly around Sheriff Street in Dublin’s north inner city but with criminal contacts nationally. The gang has been involved in a feud in recent years with another faction also based in Sheriff Street. The feud has cost five lives, two of them this year.
The raids were the latest chapter in an almost year-long specialist investigation into the feud. The probe has been stepped up in recent weeks following a near-fatal shooting last month in Swords, Co Dublin, and the revenge gang beating of a rival criminal in the north inner city just minutes later.
According to Garda sources, the target gang has forged close links with arguably the two biggest crime gangs in Ireland: the McCarthy-Dundon gang in Limerick; and a gang in Finglas, Dublin, once led by murdered criminal Eamon Dunne.
The operation was co-ordinated from Pearse Street Garda station by Chief Supt Pat Leahy, under Assistant Commissioner Mick Feehan, who is in charge of policing in Dublin, and Deputy Commissioner Martin Callinan, who is in charge of all operations across the force.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Three held over separate gangland incidents in Dublin

C LALLY Irish Times 1/11/10
GARDAÍ HAVE seized drugs and a firearm and have arrested three people in unrelated gangland incidents in Dublin at the weekend.
In one of the operations, gardaí seized cannabis and cocaine. They believe the Dublin gang behind the haul has joined forces with a Vietnamese-led crime gang involved in large scale cannabis-growing operations here.
As part of the investigation into the Dublin gang, gardaí raided a house on Glasmanna Road, Finglas, north Dublin, and found drugs with an estimated street value of about €320,000.
Among the haul was cocaine valued at €210,000, cannabis plants valued at €10,000 and cannabis pollen valued at €110,000.
Cannabis pollen is effectively dried cannabis plants crushed and compressed into slabs.
The slabs are sold in 1kg quantities, usually for about €4,000 wholesale, to Irish gangs for sale on the streets. The street value of 1kg of cannabis pollen is between €12,000 and €14,000.
A man and woman in their 20s were arrested at the house in Finglas when the cannabis and cocaine find was made at 1.15pm on Saturday. They were taken to Finglas Garda station for questioning.
Gardaí believe the cannabis plants and pollen were sourced from one of a number of mainly Vietnamese-led gangs now operating here.
These gangs have become involved in cultivating crops of cannabis in sophisticated growing operations in rented houses across the Republic over the past two years. Last Thursday, gardaí found the latest cannabis grow house in Cullenmore, Ashford, Co Wicklow, where a crop of plants valued at €500,000 was discovered in a large rented house.
The discovery was the 15th grow-house found, involving seizures of plants valued at more than €4 million, since July as part of the Garda National Drugs Unit specialist grow-house investigation, Operation Nitrogen.
In another operation at the weekend, not related to the Finglas cannabis and cocaine find, gardaí seized a gun from a 19-year- old man in East Wall in Dublin’s north inner city.
The handgun was seized at East Road at 2.30pm on Saturday during an intelligence-led operation by local detective and drug units from the Garda’s Dublin north central division.
The man arrested at the scene is from Coolock, north Dublin.
He is believed to be aligned to a drugs gang involved in localised feuding with other factions in Coolock.
He is also associated with one of two feuding gangs based around the Sheriff Street area in the north inner city, not far from where he was arrested on Saturday.
The feud between the rival Sheriff Street factions has claimed five lives since it began about eight years ago, with two of the fatal attacks having taken place this year.
The man arrested in East Wall is being held under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act at Store Street Garda station in the north inner city. He can be detained for up to 72 hours without charge.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Gardai arrest man following fatal shooting Killing puts gangland death toll at 22

Sunday October 31 2010
GardaI have arrested a man as part of an investigation following a fatal shooting in Louth on Friday night. The man in his mid 20s was arrested in the Dublin area at 5.30pm yesterday on suspicion of aggravated burglary.
The incident occurred at 11pm on Friday when a group of four men from Dublin forced their way into a house on the Sliabh Breagh estate outside Ardee, Co Louth, to confront two other men.
There was a fight in which two of the men were shot. A samurai sword is also thought to have been used in the incident in which a 20-year-old north Dubliner became the city's 22nd gang shooting victim this year, and the second murder victim in two days.
Another man had his finger chopped off in the incident.
Stephen Hanaphy, of Cromcastle Court, Coolock, who was hit by a single shot in the chest, collapsed and died under a tree on a green area about 300 metres from the house after what appears to have been hand-to-hand fighting.
Gardai believe the victim travelled to the town with three other men from the Coolock area on Friday evening. The gardai have a report of shots and fighting at around 11pm in the Sliabh Breagh area. However, Mr Hanaphy's body was not discovered until nearly 5am.
Around the same time the body was discovered, another man in his 20s -- also from Coolock -- presented at Beaumont Hospital with a gunshot wound. It is understood he had also had a finger cut off.
Gardai suspect that Mr Hanaphy and his associates may have been on their way to a meeting when they were surprised and attacked by members of a criminal gang from the Louth area.
The gang suspects have links to other gangs involved in drugs and other crime in the Midlands.
The killing follows that of 30-year-old Robert Ryle, of Blackditch Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, who died on Wednesday from gunshot wounds he received when he was shot by a lone gunman at a house in the Ronanstown area.
Ryle, a convicted bank robber and drug dealer, was an associate of bothers Kenneth and Paul Corbally -- who were shot dead in Ballyfermot in May. It is believed members of a rival gang were responsible for both sets of killings. Gardai are currently concerned that more killings and attacks are likely to arise from several feuds in Dublin and increasing tension in Limerick.
Gardai are still looking for a taxi driver who carried a male passenger from Ardee to Dublin shortly after 11pm on Friday. The driver is asked to contact local gardai or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111.
Sunday Independent

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Thompson pressing dealers to pay debts

Irish Herald
Thompson pressing dealers to pay debts

Saturday October 30 2010

GANG bosses ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson and Wayne Dundon held meetings to discuss flooding Ireland with drugs. The notorious pair held a summit in Britain with a view to taking over from Christy Kinahan's drugs empire.

Kinahan was Ireland's chief cocaine supplier and the leaders of Limerick and Dublin's most high profile gangs have discussed joining forces to flood Ireland with drugs. Christy Kinahan, aka ‘The Dapper Don’, is currently in prison in Spain as authorities move against him for drug trafficking and money laundering.

He can be held in custody for up to four years as the Spanish police build a case against him. Thompson and Dundon met in Britain to discuss their plans. Dundon was staying there to get away from the heavy Garda surveillance he was under in Limerick.

Thompson, on the other hand, has spent the last few months jumping from Holland, the UK, Amsterdam and Spain to avoid police forces across Europe.

A European Arrest Warrant has been issued for Thompson and his associate Gary Hutch for their knowledge of Kinahan's billion-euro drug empire and the murder of hitman Paddy Doyle in Estepona, Spain, in 2008.

He can be arrested on sight by any police service, including the gardai, but has evaded capture up until now.

During his last visit to Dublin, he was seen socialising with his long-term girlfriend and also oversaw the equipping of his gang to ward off any extortion bids from the Real IRA in Dublin.

He also paid a visit to a number of mid-level drug dealers who owe him money as he reportedly owes money to a highly dangerous Russian criminal outfit.

In one incident, he told a drug dealer who owed him over €10,000 that he would burn down his partner's home with her and her son inside if he didn't come up with the money.


Thompson is understood to have organised a shipment of weapons into the city in case members of his own gang were targeted by the north Dublin Real IRA cell that is extorting money from major drug dealers.

The weapons haul was discovered by gardai in the capital.

The homes of two of Thompson's chief lieutenants, who had been told by 'Fat' Freddie to protect the deadly arsenal, were raided by gardai but nothing was found.

One of the men, a 26-year-old, is suspected of being the gunman who botched a hit on Martin Foley in 2008.

The erratic gangster is from the Clanbrassil Street area of Dublin and is a longtime associate of Thompson.

Although he is a very active member of Thompson's gang, he does not have many criminal convictions.

However, he is the chief suspect for the shooting of Foley in January 2008 and was arrested over this attack but not prosecuted.

Foley was shot twice in the chest as he drove out of the Carlisle Health and Fitness Gym in Kimmage.

He was approached by a gunman wielding a semi-automatic machine pistol and eight shots were fired into his car. Two struck him in the lower chest and one grazed his head, but he survived.

The second is regarded as Thompson's eyes and ears in Dublin, and is considered his closest confidant and chief lieutenant, and the man who directs his operation in Dublin while his boss is in exile.

The gangster, in his early 30s, is from the Dublin 8 area.

The Real IRA gang that Thompson was guarding against is reputed to have extorted over €400,000 from Dublin drug dealers this year and targeted some of the capital's most dangerous figures.


The gang, headed by two brothers from Donaghmede, is suspected of being behind an assassination attempt on Eamonn Dunne's close friend Brian O'Reilly.

Brian O'Reilly (41), from Bettystown, was warned of a threat against his life at the same time as Kelly.

The Don's gang have been the chief target of the north Dublin Real IRA unit trying to extort money from Dublin's most notorious crime figures. They ordered the crime brothers to pay them €50,000 or they would kill them.

The dissident republicans are the chief suspects in the shooting of O'Reilly in August and the failed assassination attempt on the Don's mentor Eamonn Kelly.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Gardai fear bloody mob war after split in Don's drugs gang

Irish Herald
Gardai fear bloody mob war after split in Don's drugs gang

By Cormac Byrne

Friday October 29 2010

THE Don's drug gang has split after godfather Eamonn Kelly's money man and his wife were shot at in their home.

The couple were attacked by three men after two brothers paid €60,000 for a criminal transaction which was not carried out.

According to sources, the west Dublin crime brothers paid Eamonn Kelly the money to fund a plot that involved one of the Real IRA brothers from north Dublin responsible for extorting money from Dublin drug dealers.

Gardai are fearful that the shocking gun attack could spark a gang war within factions of the gang once run by slain gangster Eamonn 'The Don' Dunne. The attack took place in September at a house in Malahide, during an armed raid on the property.

One criminal entered the house, followed by an associate, as a third stood watch at the door.

The target was speaking to his son on his mobile phone when the men entered.

He was brought into the kitchen and placed on the floor with his wife and a shot was fired over the couple.

His son, who had heard the start of the argument between the men, rushed to the scene and barged in on the men, driving them from the house.

They fled the scene in a black car and fired shots at the house as they escaped.

The target and his wife were left very shaken but were unharmed.

A source told the Herald the row was over money which was transferred between the parties for the purpose of carrying out "criminal business" with members of the INLA, which also involved a north Dublin Real IRA faction.

"These brothers gave the money to Kelly, who was to use it to hire an INLA mob, who in turn were to have dealings with a Dublin RIRA faction.

"But Kelly never did anything with the money. The guys want their money back and they're prepared to take it by force."

The target in the gun attack is a successful businessman who has no serious criminal convictions.

A business property used by the man was raided in 2006 by gardai, who believed that up to €50,000 worth of heroin was being stored there.

Detectives are still trying to ascertain the precise criminal plan which the west Dublin brothers and Kelly wished to carry out with the INLA and the Dublin RIRA.

Rumours of a split in the ranks of the Eamonn Dunne gang have been rife since his murder in April but this is the first concrete evidence of a major rift.

The Don's gang has been the chief target of the north Dublin RIRA unit who have been trying to extort money from Dublin's most notorious crime figures.

They ordered the crime brothers to pay them €50,000 or they would kill them.

The dissident republicans are also the chief suspects in the shooting of Eamonn Dunne's close pal Brian O'Reilly in August and the failed assassination attempt on the Don's mentor, Eamonn Kelly.

Brian O'Reilly, who was a pallbearer at The Don's funeral, was sprayed with semi-automatic fire in a pub on August 7, but escaped with his life.

O'Reilly, who is well known to gardai, was told in May that a threat had been made against his life.

O'Reilly is originally from Ballymun but now lives in Co Meath. He was Dunne's closest confidant and has stabilised Dunne's gang in the wake of his murder six months ago.

- Cormac Byrne

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Gardaí on alert to prevent gang hit at time of Griffin course case

Sunday Tribune

Ali Bracken, Crime Correspondent
GANGLAND criminal Christy Griffin is due to appear in court on 13 December appealing his life sentence conviction, and gardaí have already made preparations to try and avert another murder attempt – linked to the Sheriff Street feud – planned to coincide with his next court appearance.
Last Monday, a man was shot in Swords and another man was seriously assaulted in a retaliation attack. The shooting was planned to coincide with Griffin's court appearance that day. Griffin is involved in a long-running appeal against his life sentence after he was convicted of the rape and sexual abuse of his partner's daughter.
Griffin (40), of Canon Lillis Avenue, Dublin, was once the leader of a close-knit group of criminals in the Sheriff Street area, but the gang became involved in the country's most bitter gangland feud when allegations of Griffin's abuse of a child came to light eight years ago, tearing the gang apart and resulting in five murders to date.
One faction of the gang sided with Griffin when the rape allegations first emerged, while the other faction believed the victim and turned on Griffin. The first victim of the feud was shot dead in December 2006 and the latest in July last. A source said that, almost without fail, there are planned shootings or beatings carried out each time Griffin makes a court appearance. Some have been averted by gardaí because of an increased presence in the area and intelligence-led operations.
"Almost without fail every time Griffin appears in court, there is violence, or at least planned violence and shootings. This feud is still very bitter and emotive. The only way it will ever end is when Christy Griffin dies," said a source. "We are making plans to try and stop any shootings being carried out on 13 December, when he is up in court again."
October 24, 2010

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Crime gang anti-IRA force 'a joke', say gardaí

Sunday Tribune

Ali Bracken
The so-called Criminal Action Force (CAF) – which claims to comprise of criminals from various gangs who have joined forces to oppose the Real IRA's expansion in Dublin's underworld – does not exist, according to sources.
In recent weeks, a group calling itself CAF issued statements and a photograph to a national newspaper claiming gangs across Dublin had united to hit back at republicans who have extorted more than €400,000 from them so far this year.
They threatened to murder any dissident Republicans who continue to attempt to extort money from criminal gangs. However, sources said there is "absolutely no garda intelligence whatsoever" to support the existence of the group.
"The Criminal Action Force does not exist as far as we're concerned. It's a joke. It is a publicity stunt, plain and simple," said a source. "Criminal gangs are unhappy that dissident Republicans are trying to extort money from them. But they have not joined forces in any way to oppose them."
In recent months, four brothers and their criminal associates in Donaghmede, north Dublin, have been extorting money from crime gangs after establishing themselves as members of the Real IRA.
The dissident republicans have been demanding a cut from profits from other crime gangs who have been involved in armed robberies and, to a lesser extent, have been muscling in on control of security at Dublin bars and nightclubs.
There has also been conflict over the control of drug-dealing in various parts of the city. "The brothers in Donaghmede and their associates have been flexing their muscles, demanding a cut of money from crime gangs if they see a weakness within that gang. This has obviously caused a lot of friction," said the source.
Detectives are closely monitoring the activities of the Real IRA criminals, particularly the brothers in Donaghmede. Two of the brothers were arrested three weeks ago within hours of criminal Sean Winters being shot in the head in an affluent Dublin suburb. Winters had ties to a north Dublin gang involved in drug dealing and is believed to have been resisting an att­empt to hand over money de­manded of him by the Real IRA.
October 10, 2010

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Freddie gangsters scald victim with boiling water

Irish Herald

By Cormac Byrne

Tuesday October 05 2010

A MAN kidnapped by a Tallaght drug trafficker and an associate of 'Fat' Freddie Thompson was beaten and scalded with boiling water.

The victim managed to escape after his kidnappers fell into a drink and drug-fuelled sleep. However, he has refused to make a complaint to gardai over the attack at a house in Lucan on Friday.

At the same time, gardai have deployed the ERU back on the streets of the capital in an operation codenamed Hybrid.

The SWAT officers were mounting checkpoints in Finglas, Ballyfermot and Crumlin/Drimnagh as gang feuds threatened to explode once more.

Officers are most concerned about the feud in Ballyfermot, which led to the murders of the Corbally brothers last June.

Meanwhile, gardai had to release the Freddie gang members who abducted the man in Derry. The victim was too frightened to make a statement about the incident, the Herald understands.

The man had been abducted from his home near Magheraflet, Co Derry, early last Friday and then brought across the border to a house in Dublin.

He managed to escape from the property at Tandy's Lane in Lucan after his captors fell asleep after taking a number of pills and drinking.

The kidnap victim staggered to Lucan Garda Station half-naked and covered in blood and raised the alarm.

In a matter of minutes a large number of patrol cars were on the scene and three men were arrested on the spot.

All three were held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, with two of the men being detained at Lucan garda station and the third at Ronanstown.


But gardai were forced to release the men on Sunday after the victim refused to make a complaint.

One of the kidnappers is major Tallaght drug trafficker in his 40s, who is a target of the Organised Crime Unit and the Garda National Drugs Unit.

This criminal has previously been imprisoned for a failed armed robbery where shots were fired.

Another attacker acts as a drug runner for the notorious 'Fat' Freddie Thompson gang and is related to a number of infamous armed robbers and kidnappers.

This criminal also has strong links to drugs gangs in Birmingham and has links to one of the gang members responsible for the kidnapping of former National Irish Bank chief Jim Lacey.

Lacey was snatched from his home in Grove Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin, in November 1993. It was the last big criminal enterprise by the late Martin 'The General' Cahill.

The third man is known to gardai but is a relatively small player in gangland circles.

The victim was given an escort to the border where he was picked up by another individual who is understood to have brought him home.

A garda spokesperson said."The gardai in Lucan are investigating an incident in which a male was allegedly falsely imprisoned. All three men have been released and investigations are ongoing."

The incident occurred as garda armed response units mounted stop and search checkpoints in Tallaght in a crackdown on the movements of known criminals, including associates of Thompson.

- Cormac Byrne

Thursday, 23 September 2010

PJ Browne: Thompson must go behind bars -- or this will continue

Irish Herald
PJ Browne: Thompson must go behind bars -- or this will continue

By PJ Browne

Thursday September 23 2010

THE seizure of four Ingram machine pistols in west Dublin last night has undoubtedly saved lives.

I have no doubt that associates of Freddie Thompson were intent on using these weapons in the near future, most likely on the built-up streets of Dublin's south city.

Given the recklessness of Dublin's gunmen there would have been serious risk of injury, or worse, to innocent members of the public had they been deployed in this manner.

In fact, given that most Dublin criminals would be simply unable to control the rate of fire of an Ingram, there would have been carnage.

Although the Crumlin feud appears to have calmed somewhat, the gangs may have stepped back, but they certainly have not gone away.

For the best part of a decade these gangsters murdered each other in tit-for-tat killings, and there remains a lot of aggrieved criminals in the Crumlin, Drimnagh and the south inner city who would take revenge given half a chance.

Add this motive for vengeance to the battle for dwindling revenues from the recession-hit drug trade and you have a toxic, and bloody, combination. Tension in the area at times remains palpable.

Of course, Freddie could also have been tooling up to take on the Republican racketeers who are now imposing a 'crime tax' on the drugs gangs.

Freddie is supposed to be short of cash and would have fought to the death rather than hand money over to the Real IRA and INLA racketeers trying to control the pub door and drugs business.

The seizure of the Mulhuddart firearms and ammunition is to be expected. While I was chief of detectives in the south inner city, my colleagues received intelligence that Thompson's crew planned to import machine pistols and grenades.

This weaponry was to be used to take out a rival gang in a bar or other open public space. I have no doubt these Ingrams were to be deployed in a similar plot.

Hanging over all of this remains the figure of 'Fat' Freddie. Despite the attentions of many specialised units in different countries, my former colleagues are the ones who have taken the fight to the Thompson gang in Ireland. I congratulate them on this seizure.

Thompson has been on the run for months, and is subject of an European Arrest Warrant. Despite the fact that gardai have seized his weapons and his rockets, police forces across Europe -- where 'Fat' Freddie is at large -- appear unable to capture him.

When his rival gang boss was hit with a major conviction, tensions calmed considerably in the south city. I have no doubt that placing Thompson in custody would have a similar effect.

Until then, we can expect more seizures like that in Mulhuddart.

PJ Browne is a former detective superintendent who was chief of detectives at Pearse Street, Kevin Street and Kilmainham garda stations

- PJ Browne

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Mastermind behind The Don and Marlo

Irish Herald

By Cormac Byrne

Tuesday September 14 2010

CRIMINAL mastermind Eamonn Kelly is lucky to be alive and has amassed serious enemies through his associations with The Don and Marlo Hyland.

Kelly chased a lone gunman from his home in Killester on Saturday morning after the gun jammed during an assassination attempt.

Godfather Kelly (61) is believed to be the mastermind behind the rise of Dublin's most notorious criminals.

Gardai are currently trying to build a case against the elusive Kelly for allegedly organising the intimidation of two Dublin individuals at the behest of two builders.

Detectives understand that serious threats were made against a number of individuals and in one instance a car was torched.

In recent weeks Kelly was lifted by officers from the Organised Crime Unit (OCU), along with a 77-year-old former member of the Provisional IRA and a 28-year-old thug.

He was one of the first men in Irish history to be convicted of attempting to import cocaine into the country.

Kelly has remained a close associate of Eamonn Dunne's notorious Finglas drug gang, which was also headed by Marlo Hyland in recent years.

Both Hyland and Eamonn Dunne were assassinated in brutal gangland killings, in 2006 and April this year respectively.

From Furry Park Road in Killester, north Dublin, met with Eamonn Dunne regularly in the years up to his death in pubs and restaurants across Dublin.

"Both men had a mutual respect for each other and Kelly would have acted as tutor for Dunne," a source said.

"Kelly would know every major criminal figure on Dublin's northside."

The gangster was also responsible for grooming young Dublin criminals including Marlo Hyland (39).


Hyland was one of the biggest drug dealers in the country and was involved in drug-trafficking and gun-smuggling.

He was the target of garda's Operation Oak and investigating gardai had arrested 30 associates and seized over €15m worth of drugs before his murder.

Hyland was murdered in 2006 as he slept in the home of a relative in Finglas.

As a popular and clever figure in the city's underworld, Kelly is believed to have curried favour with most of Dublin's major crime gangs.

But despite his popularity, gardai have told Kelly that a threat had been made against his life by a Dublin gang, and advised him to re-examine his personal security.

The father of nine cut his teeth as a robber working with the Official IRA in the 1980s. Despite never swearing an oath to the paramilitary group, Kelly worked with the organisation's shadowy Group B unit.

The group specialised in armed robberies of cash and drink deliveries, and was behind some of the biggest bank heists of the decade.

In 1988, he was jailed for three years for an assault on a member of the Worker's Party outside a club near the party's headquarters in Gardiner Place, Dublin.

In the early 1990s, Kelly became one of Ireland's first criminals to be jailed for bringing a major consignment of cocaine into the country.

In May 1993, he was sentenced to 14 years behind bars after he was caught with almost a kilogram of cocaine following a garda surveillance operation.

Now, despite his advancing years, Kelly has maintained contact with a number of figures in the criminal underworld.

- Cormac Byrne

Monday, 13 September 2010

Cash seizures on the rise as gangs try to get money out of country

12The €676,000 found in a suitcase in Dublin airport in March 2008.Compartments used to conceal cash in a van seized by customs officers. Cash seizures by Revenue customs officers have increased to record levelsIn this section »
C LALLY, Crime Correspondent
BACKGROUND: The proceeds of drug dealing, fuel and cigarette smuggling form the bulk of money intercepted by customs officials
EUGENE JUDE Murphy came very close to pulling it off. He had secured his boarding pass, checked in his luggage and cleared customs and security at Dublin airport without incident.
There remained only the last hurdle of simply getting on the plane to Portugal before picking up his bags at the other end and getting out of the airport as quickly as he could.
Things seemed to be going away. But a sniffer dog called Storm had other ideas.
Just as Murphy’s bags, and those of his fellow passengers on his Lisbon-bound flight, were about to be lifted on to the plane on the tarmac, a customs officer decided to give Storm one last run over the load.
The dog, which specialises in identifying large quantities of cash by sniffing out the ink on bank notes, quickly focused on one piece of luggage: Murphy’s.
The baggage was plucked from the pile and opened for searching. Customs officers found a false bottom in the case. Into it had been packed bundles of used bank notes, €279,450 to be precise.
When questioned about the haul, Murphy refused to answer any questions as to its origins. Two years later, on April 15th last, Revenue’s customs officers went to the High Court and successfully argued the cash was the proceeds of crime.
They were granted a forfeiture order by Ms Justice Katherine Delahunt and the money was transferred to State coffers.
In the last number of years such cash smuggling cases involving the proceeds of crime have come to light much more frequently.
Many of those caught carrying the money when it is seized are trusted couriers working for large gangs. Others are people who have agreed to do a cash smuggling run for a gang to pay a debt or because they are in fear.
After the initial seizure of the cash, most cases progress to the forfeiture stage in the High Court unopposed by the couriers or those who own the money.
There is now a record number of cases coming before the courts for forfeiture hearings. There were 21 this year so far, relating to €2.2 million in seized cash.
The number of cash seizures by Revenue, mostly at airports and ports, has also increased to record levels; 31 cases to date in 2010 compared with 34 cases in all of last year.
The largest seizure occurred on March 15th, 2008, at Dublin airport. When Irishman Mark Lee was stopped as he was about to catch a flight to Brussels, his suitcase was found to be full of bundles of bank notes and nothing else.
When the haul was counted it came to €676,625. Lee admitted he was delivering the money on behalf of an unnamed drug dealer. On January 21st last the High Court approved the forfeiture of the cash to the State.
Denis Twohig, an assistant principal in Revenue’s Customs Investigations Unit, says while much of the seized money is linked to drug dealing, fuel and cigarette smugglers, prostitutes and credit card fraudsters have also been caught.
The sums range from €7,000 to almost €700,000 per seizure.
He says while many of those acting as cash couriers will have an excuse prepared in the event they are caught, others simply surrender the money and answer no questions about its origins.
“Generally, the money is being moved from the State to purchase further quantities of drugs and so on. It’s also likely the money is being moved to fund lifestyles [of criminals living abroad].”
An examination of the 21 cases concluded in the High Court so far this year reveals many cash seizures were made from passengers about to leave Ireland on flights to Malaga, the gateway to southern Spain where many Irish gang leaders are based.
Two years ago two women from Dublin’s south inner city were stopped and searched as they were boarding flights to Malaga. They were carrying a combined total of over €30,000.
One said her portion was to be used to fund cosmetic surgery while the other claimed her share was for a property investment.
The money, which customs believe was destined for a Spanish-based member of one of Dublin’s Crumlin-Drimnagh feuding drugs gangs, was confiscated. It has since been forfeited to the State.
In another case the wife of a convicted brothel keeper – 65-year-old Paul Humphreys, originally from Cork – was found with €26,775 at Dublin airport in November 2005.
She was about to board a flight to her Cyprus home, via Italy, when she was stopped. The money was forfeited to the State in the High Court in March after it was found to be the proceeds of crime.
Among others stopped with money which was later forfeited to the State were the brothers of two murdered drug dealers.
Aaron Ennis from Clondalkin, whose brother Keith Ennis was found dismembered in a suitcase in an Amsterdam canal in March 2009, was found to be carrying €29,500 when stopped in Dublin airport bound for Malaga in July 2008.
Damien Coddington from Drogheda, Co Louth, was found with €37,000 from the proceeds of crime as he was about to board a plane at Dublin airport to Amsterdam in June 2008. He is a brother of Roy Coddington, a drug dealer who was shot dead in Drogheda in March 2007.