Ali Bracken, Crime Correspondent
Christy Griffin: sparked feud
Eamon Dunne: gang probed
1 2 A MAJOR garda file into the activities of feuding gangs in Dublin's Sheriff Street area is due to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) by gardaí implementing anti-gangland legislation introduced last summer.
It is understood that the garda file, which has been compiled over several months, is the largest piece of intelligence on criminals in the Sheriff Street area in the north-inner city. Five men have been killed in the Sheriff Street feud. The group of drug dealers and armed robbers were once all friends but split after notorious gangster Christy Griffin was arrested for the rape of his partner's daughter.
Griffin was subsequently convicted of the crime and jailed for life. His actions split the once close-knit crime gang, with some turning against Griffin and supporting the young girl's family.
It is understood Griffin is not a major target in the new file, as he is not particularly influential in directing his gang's activity from behind bars. However, several members of the same family are major targets in the garda file.
Under the new legislation, a gang boss can be jailed for life if convicted of a charge of directing the activities of a criminal outfit.
A maximum sentence of 15 years can be imposed on those found guilty of participating in or facilitating the activities of a criminal gang with the aim of helping it to commit offences. The new laws allow for gangland criminals to be tried at the Special Criminal Court.
It is understood the DPP is considering as many as 10 garda files under the new anti-gangland laws. Detectives have submitted files on a number of other Dublin-based gangs as well as criminals in several other cities, including Limerick. Some have been put together by members of the force's Organised Crime Unit (OCU) while others have been compiled by local divisional detectives.
The DPP was recently presented with an extensive file on the activities of a Finglas-based gang, once led by murdered crime boss Eamon Dunne.
Meanwhile, four men alleged to be members of one of the Sheriff Street gangs arrested last week as part of garda enquiries into the murder of Aidan Byrne last February, were all expected to be released from custody early this week.
Files are being prepared for the DPP in relation to each man.
Detectives believe the four have been involved in various shootings and robberies, including the tiger kidnap that led to a €7m heist from the Bank of Ireland at St Stephen's Green. One of the men was released from Mountjoy garda station on Thursday while the other three remained in custody on Friday.
September 5, 2010