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