Monday, 21 February 2011

Don't Judge Me -Don's Grave

Irish Herald

By Conor Feehan and Cormac Byrne
Monday February 21 2011
"Don't judge me today, judge me tomorrow".
That's the message on the grave of 'The Don' -- once Dublin's most feared gang boss.
A year ago Eamon Dunne was the biggest mobster in the capital, controlling the drug supply in most of the city's northside, carrying out armed robberies and running protection rackets.
But this is where the criminal kingpin lies today, in a lonely grave in Dardistown Cemetery.
The "don't judge me" line is carved on a memorial plaque, inscribed with the Liverpool FC emblem, which takes pride of place on Dunne's grave.
Ironically, the gangster was facing judgment in the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court at the time of his death, where he was facing trial for armed robbery.
But Dunne was gunned down in a pub in Cabra West in April last year as he sat beside his young daughter, before his trial, and his own killer has not yet been found.
Dunne would have turned 35 last Thursday and his family published a number of heartfelt newspaper messages to mark a year without their loved one.
"Happy birthday to our beloved son Eamon. Having you as a son was the greatest gift of all," his parents wrote.
One of the most poignant messages left belonged to Dunne's young daughter.
"I don't understand why this had to happen to you, but I'm proud to say you were my Dad," she wrote.
"Although you will not be by my side each day, you were always there for me and never made me cry, until the night you closed your eyes, and were made to say goodbye.
"The most precious thing to me was you being there for my first breath and me there for your last. Love you always dad."
His sister recalled a phrase that Dunne would recite regularly: "'You only live once', you used to say, but I miss you more and more every day.
"Falling tears and heartache are signs we have to bear, but losing you the way did will always be unfair."
"Never forgotten," reads another tribute, signed by 'The Magnificent Seven'.
Close friends including Brian O'Reilly and Derek McLoughlin got together to mark the first anniversary of Dunne's killing.
Today the mobster's grave is also marked with a simple wooden cross, with the words In "Loving Memory of Eamon Dunne", inscribed on it.
A colour photograph shows Dunne smiling, and a stone- shaped heart at its base has "Love You Always" written on it. The grave is surrounded by Liverpool memorabilia and messages from friends and family inscribed on ornaments and marble slabs.
"Brother You're The Best" says one.
Dunne is buried right beside his friend and gang enforcer Paddy Doyle, who was gunned down in Spain in 2008. The pair were not associates.
Doyle (27) died in a hail of bullets after an ambush on the sun-soaked streets of Estepona on February 4 that year.
Originally from Cabra, Dunne is believed to have been behind the murders of at least a dozen people he saw as threats to his drugs empire.
From his Finglas base, the 34-year-old rose to prominence in the criminal underworld following the murder of heroin dealer, Martin 'Marlo' Hyland, in December 2006.
With the help of Hyland's gang members, he filled the void left by his death and quickly established himself as the most feared man in north Dublin. But he was increasingly paranoid towards the end.
- Conor Feehan and Cormac Byrne

Monday, 31 January 2011

Freddie gang menand enemies battle it out in Mountjoy

Irish Herald
Freddie gang menand enemies battle it out in Mountjoy

By Cormac Byrne and Conor Feehan

Monday January 31 2011

RIVAL drugs gangs have battled it out for dominance in vicious fighting in Mountjoy jail.

Members of 'Fat' Freddie Thompson's gang rioted at the jail, attacking rivals and setting fire to a cell.

The violent weekend disturbances came just five days after gangster Craig White – a killer linked to the Thompson gang’s hit squad – smashed televisions in a 25-man riot at the jail.

Tensions remained extremely high in the Dublin prison today, after five inmates were injured last Saturday night.

Investigations were under way at the prison as inmates aligned to Freddie Thompson and his rival Crumlin crime boss were involved in two prison riots, deliberate fires and attempted drug smuggling.

The latest incident occurred last Saturday when the Dublin drugs gangs clashed in an 60-man stand-off, before five of the ringleaders had to be rescued from a fire in solitary confinement hours later.

Inmates aligned to the major Crumlin-based crime boss teamed up with a Ballymun-based outfit to attack a gang member from an Inchicore-based drug gang in the prison yard.

The attack lead to a stand-off between up to 60 inmates, as Thompson gang members became involved and faced off with the Crumlin gang with improvised blades and other homemade weapons.

A jail source said: “The attack on the Inchicore inmate was set up by the Crumlin guys.

“But, as they carried it out, their rivals, aligned to Freddie Thompson’s gang, got involved. A number of fistfights and assaults took place, and improvised weapons were produced.”

Prison officers successfully defused the violence and the decision was taken to segregate five of the inmates in an underground cell in the jail’s B-base.

With no apparent regard for their safety, the men set wooden bunk beds on fire in the communal cell and had to be rescued by prison authorities.

Officers were forced to don breathing apparatus and rescue the prisoners who were all brought to the Mater Hospital suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.

According to source,s there were over 50 prisoners in the ‘BBase’ – as it’s known – and they were evacuated to exercise yards in the prison. They have all been discharged from hospital and returned to the jail.

The blaze broke out at around 7.15pm on Saturday and was brought under control by six units of the Dublin Fire Brigade.

Saturday's disturbances came just five days after a prison riot which involved one of Fat Freddie Thompson's jailed hitmen.

Craig White (24), serving life for murder, is believed to have been a key player in violent disturbances last Monday when inmates rampaged and smashed TV sets.

A female prison officer was attacked and received a blow during the incident.


White is serving time for a high profile hit on Noel Roche, a gangster shot dead outside the Yacht pub in Clontarf in 2005. The murder was one of the killings in a bloody gang feud between ‘Fat' Freddie Thompson's gang and the rival Crumlin drug gang.

White was jailed for life last July for his role in the shooting, which gardai believe he carried out with another man. Roche, a sworn enemy of the Thompson gang, was shot dead as he drove home after a Phil Collins gig.

White, from O'Devaney Gardens, is suspected of involvement in disturbances on the D wing of the prison this week, which saw prisoners revolt after being issued with disciplinary reports - known as ‘P19s'.

- Cormac Byrne and Conor Feehan

Sunday, 30 January 2011

He laid waste to Dublin's inner city, and to his own children

Sunday Tribune

He's sick, he's powerless, but Tony Felloni is free again to walk the streets he blighted from youth, writes Crime Correspondent Ali Bracken
Veteran Dublin drugs baron Tony Felloni leaves Mountjoy prison yesterday
Felloni photographed at the Central Criminal Court in 1998
IN a strange coincidence, there is a heroin drought in Dublin city at the same time as Ireland's most notorious drug dealer is getting out of prison. Tony Felloni, better known as King Scum, has been off the streets for 15 years. His re-emergence into society yesterday is unlikely to make any difference to the drugs trade. But when it comes to someone of Felloni's ilk, sources stress, no assumptions can be made. He is a man who deliberately got his own children addicted to heroin. A man who beat his ex-wife Anne continuously and savagely, even throughout her pregnancies. A man who forced young women into prostitution and who is responsible for flooding the capital with heroin in the 1980s, creating Dublin's first hardcore generation of junkies. Unlike some other criminals, he has truly earned his nickname.
But after his release from jail, the Irish organised crime scene will be totally unrecognisable to Felloni, now 68, despite the fact he is one of its founding fathers.
"He is coming out to a totally different city, he's an old man now," says a garda source, who helped put Felloni behind bars in 1996 following a major garda operation, codenamed Pizza.
"But at the same time, this is Tony Felloni we are talking about, so you could never write him off. There's a heroin drought in Dublin city at the moment; the price has shot right up. I would wonder if he'd take a look at the situation and start getting in touch with his old contacts. It's unlikely, but nothing about that man would shock me. Although Felloni certainly doesn't have the status he once had in the underworld."
There are some stark differences between Felloni and modern-day Irish gangland criminals. He was never involved with firearms or ordered anyone's murder. His name was enough to strike fear into people's hearts; he didn't need to kill anyone. Nowadays, the most serious drugs gangs in Ireland would not be able to operate effectively without a ready supply of firearms and a proven ability to carry out killings when necessary. But Felloni's path of destruction took an entirely different direction – a route many modern-day criminals would find abhorrent. He was a father hell-bent on passing on his trade to his offspring. He enlisted his children to help him sell heroin when they were just teenagers and encouraged them to experiment with the drug so that he could control them.
Anne, his second-eldest child, became a heroin addict while she was still in school and contracted Aids. Her eldest brother Mario Angelo started in the family trade when he was just a teenager. At the age of 16, his father gave him his first taste of heroin as a birthday present. Of his seven children with his wife, all except one have spent long spells in jail and become heroin addicts. On several occasions, he beat his wife so severely she had to be hospitalised. He became a hate figure in the 1980s, attracting the wrath of the Concerned Parents Against Drugs movement, which organised demonstrations outside his house and applauded in court when he was jailed for 20 years.
"I hope no community suffers again because of Tony Felloni," says independent councillor Christy Burke, a founder member of Concerned Parents Against Drugs, who knew Felloni from youth. "I hope he has been rehabilitated after this length of time. It would be a sad reflection of our prison system if he has not been. I hope he has had time to reflect on the damage he has done. I hope he has reflected wisely and well."
Lack of morals
While Felloni's development as a criminal took a predictable route from petty into major crime, his lack of morals were apparent from a young age.
At just 15, Tony's first scam was both ruthless and cunning, traits he would later become synonymous with. In the 1950s, on Mountjoy Square in the north inner city, stood a house where young women rented rooms when they moved up to Dublin from the country. A teenage Tony, full of charm and confidence, used to hang around outside and get talking to the women.
"He'd take them out. He was a good-looking and charming young man. He'd get them to take their clothes off for him and he'd take photos," says a man who knew Felloni as a youngster but who asked not to be named.
"Then he'd blackmail them. Threaten to send the photos back to their parents. They'd always hand over the money."
Within a few years, young Felloni had refined his method of taking advantage of women and gone several steps further. He had already figured that his personal charm could be put to illicit purposes, but he combined this with a violent side. He began to operate brothels around Dublin's inner city but had an unorthodox way of attracting women to work as prostitutes for him. He forced them. Felloni did what he did best – he preyed on the weak.
Many of the women he targeted had moved to Dublin from the countryside. Selling himself as a friendly landlord in the big city, he offered women cheap accommodation and then forced them to become prostitutes to pay for their keep. He met many women who later sold their bodies on his behalf outside the GPO on O'Connell Street, his trial would later be told. Women liked him, until they got better acquainted with his personality.
His prostitution racket began to grow, as did his reputation as a violent man. He used to viciously beat women who tried to escape his brothels. Soon, the gardaí began to take an interest. And in 1964, he was convicted of procuring young girls for immoral purposes and sentenced to three years' imprisonment.
Like so many others before him, prison did not provide the sharp shock necessary to scare Felloni straight. As the '60s turned into the '70s in Dublin, he began to realise where the real money was. In drugs, not vice.
The Dunne family were the first drug dealers to import heroin on a large scale into Ireland. Larry Dunne was the leader of the clan. They were the predominant heroin dealers of the '70s and '80s in the capital. In those days, there was no heroin market outside Dublin. The Dunnes were always happy to flash their cash, so were soon on the radar of gardaí. Felloni began associating with the Dunnes and, pretty soon, he became a major dealer in his own right. Like the Dunnes, he kept his business in the family and was also always showing off his new-found wealth. "Tony Felloni was wearing blue mohair suits before anyone knew what they were," says the man who knew Felloni as a youth.
"He didn't come from a bad family. His younger brother Justin was a decent man. He's dead now, he killed himself with the drink. If all Justin had in the world was a bag of chips, he'd share them with you."
In the 1980s, Larry Dunne was jailed for distributing heroin, marking the end of his family's dominance in the heroin trade. Upon his imprisonment he warned gardaí that if they thought he was bad, they should see what was coming up behind him. His prediction was right. Tony Felloni was waiting in the wings.
While the Dunne crime dynasty is responsible for first introducing heroin to Ireland, Tony Felloni can claim credit for flooding the capital with it and ensuring that whole inner city communities were destroyed by addiction. And again following in the Dunnes' footsteps, Felloni would later experiment with heroin himself, but never developed the severe addiction his children suffered.
A criminal courtship
Felloni met his future wife Anne Flynn in 1966, shortly after he emerged from prison for serving his sentence for the prostitution racket. She was also involved in criminality, and has served several prison sentences for assault and shoplifting. While other young courting couples went for dinner or drinks, Anne and Tony went shoplifting together. Almost from the beginning of their relationship, he beat her.
The couple had seven children. The eldest, Mario Angelo, who has Aids, has spent significant spells behind bars for armed robbery and other offences in the UK. He developed a chronic heroin addiction from a young age after entering the family business. Their second child Anne also got involved in the drugs business while she was still at school and, predictably, heroin addiction and Aids soon followed. Other siblings, Luigi, Regina and Renaldo, accepted the needle their father offered and their lives became a downward spiral of addiction and crime.
Only Felloni's youngest child, Elivita, was able to escape her father's destructive influence. She was only a toddler when he was locked up for 20 years. Felloni had another child as a result of an affair but, luckily for the child, he had little contact.
As the '70s ended and the '80s began, Felloni's heroin empire began to prosper. He was using the same methods as he did when he blackmailed women back in the '50s.
By getting his children as well as his street dealers addicted to heroin, he had complete control over them.
"What kind of a man deliberately gets their children hooked on heroin? It's incomprehensible," says the man from the city centre who knew Felloni growing up.
"He used people. There was a 14-year-old girl he got addicted to heroin and then he used to send her all over Europe collecting heroin packages. She'd be back and forth to Amsterdam for him on her own. She was never suspected, she was only a child. She died from drugs at 35."
In the '80s, Anne Felloni also became addicted to heroin. Life with her husband had become unbearable and several of her teenage children were already hooked on smack. She bears many scars from her husband's brutality. He took a hatchet to her skull, smashed a bottle over her face and tried once to bite her ear off. During her five years as a heroin addict, she gave birth to a son, Benito, who died three days later as result of her addiction. Her husband's imprisonment enabled Anne to truly break free from him, though they were already separated at that time. They have since divorced and Felloni will not be welcomed back by his ex-wife should he turn up on her doorstep.
'He doesn't give a sh**e'
Not long after he was imprisoned, Anne Felloni gave an interview to the late journalist Veronica Guerin, telling her prison was too good for her husband. "He's f***ed up every one of his own kids so he doesn't give a s***e about anyone," she said at the time.
In the early '90s, Felloni himself began smoking heroin, something gardaí always found hard to understand. "We thought at first it could be a story he was telling the judge. He was certainly never an addict like his children," says the officer who helped put Felloni behind bars as part of Operation Pizza.
"It's hard to imagine him walking the streets of Dublin again this weekend."
In the 15 years that Felloni was locked up, his wife and children have tried to rebuild their lives. Many of his children have kicked their heroin addiction but still live with Aids. Some still speak to their father, others do not. The family is scattered throughout Dublin and the UK. Felloni is broke, and also has serious medical problems.
Last year, the Criminal Assets Bureau seized €500,000 in assets from Felloni and two of his children, Luigi and Regina. Sources have indicated that gardaí are satisfied the heroin crime boss does not have any other money hidden away.
"He's old, he's broke and he's sick," adds the garda source. "I don't expect we'll have any more trouble from Tony Felloni."
January 30, 2011

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Backlash was sparked by gang boss's rape of girl

Irish Herald

By Michael Lavery

Thursday January 27 2011

FOUR men have been shot dead in the bloody Sheriff St feud which had its origins in rape allegations in 2003.

Christy Griffin, the head of a major crime gang in the inner city, was accused of raping a young girl over an eight-year period.

The allegations caused a split in the drugs and armed robbery gang with the factions quickly resorting to gun and bomb violence towards rivals.

In October 2005, shots were fired into Griffin's home in Swords, wounding him in the arm. The home of the woman raped by Griffin was later shot at also.


In November 2006, a hand grenade was thrown into Griffin's house and exploded. Another was thrown into a relative's house but failed to go off.

Feud tensions soared to an all-time high as Griffin's trial for rape approached and in December 2006, two men were gunned down and killed.

On December 13, Gerard Batt-Byrne (25), of Ferryman's Cross, Dublin, was shot dead at the International Financial Services Centre on December 13. He was a rival of Griffin.

On December 27, in a revenge attack, Stephen Leddan (28) was shot in the head as he lay on a sofa in a house on Oriel Street.


He is believed to have been shot by mistake by a gunman targeting another man, believed to have been behind Batt-Byrne's murder.

In January 2007, Griffin was convicted of rape and jailed for life, but the feud violence between the factions continued.

The next murder came on April 18, 2008, when Anthony Russell (30), of Cromcastle Drive, Kilmore, was shot dead as he sat drinking with friends in a pub in Artane.

He was suspected of being involved in the murder of Gerard Batt-Byrne.

Last July, Stephen 'Madser' Byrne (32) was murdered by a lone gunman, who rode up to him and shot him twice in broad daylight at St Lawrence O'Toole Place on July 13.

A deal was reportedly struck between the gangs in 2009, but the period of calm broke down in February 2010, following a serious incident between the gangs.

While Griffin's gang fell apart after the rape allegations, some of his closest associates stayed loyal while others broke away to form a rival group.

The two groups refused to sit down together but intermediaries brokered the 2009 deal.


Gardai have tried to find the means to get another ceasefire between the feuding gangs but fear that the animosity is so strong that this would now be impossible.

The heavily armed Emergency Response Unit has frequently been called into the inner city area to carry out raids in a bid to stall further killings.

- Michael Lavery

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Operation Anvil hammered gang crime. Now it's beaten by cuts

Sunday Tribune

With its funding halved, many wonder if the garda operation can strike the same blow on organised crime as before.
Crime Correspondent Ali Bracken reports
Operation Anvil: in its first 10 months, 359 firearms were seized and the value of stolen property recovered in the same period was valued at €5.7m
1 2 3 4 The off-the-cuff comment by the former justice minister didn't take long to come back and haunt him. Michael McDowell stated with ill-judged confidence in 2004 that gangland murders were soon to become a rarity. They were "the sting of a dying wasp", he asserted. His prediction couldn't have been further from the mark. In 2005, there were 16 gang-related killings – more than double the number than the year before – and McDowell was forced to eat his words and take action.
To much fanfare in 2005, the then justice minister announced that a major garda operation targeting gangland crime was to begin. No expense was to be spared. Operation Anvil meant business. Something had to be done to try and stem the bloodshed as young men, predominantly in Dublin and Limerick, proved they were willing and able to kill and be killed at an alarming pace.
In 2005, the country was awash with money and gangland feuding was at a pivotal point as criminals jostled for power and control of the lucrative cocaine market. The Crumlin/Drimnagh feud, which has claimed 16 lives, was gathering momentum and criminals in Limerick were beginning to act as though they were untouchable.
Operation Anvil was to target organised crime, focusing on crime gangs both small and large as well as the threat from dissidents. Officers began to have a visible presence around the country's gangland hotspots and specific operations to monitor serious criminals almost around the clock – such as the surveillance of murdered crime boss Martin 'Marlo' Hyland – were to be launched.
The new initiative was broadly welcomed and received extensive publicity. There was alarm among the general public about the ease and scale of gang murders and the reckless abandon up-and-coming criminals seemed to possess.
The announcement last week that Operation Anvil's budget has been slashed in half didn't create much of a stir in the media. This year, just €10m is available to the force compared to €21m last year.
Many senior gardaí are disappointed, but not surprised, by the announcement made by the new garda commissioner Martin Callinan. "It isn't as though gangland crime has disappeared," said one officer. "It never will, of course. But it's funny how things go in swings and roundabouts. In 2005 and 2006, the newspapers were all full of coverage of gangs and murders. Now it's all about the banks and the politicians. The press and general public aren't as interested in what's happening in gangland anymore. So as a result, neither are the politicians. People will care when another innocent person like Baiba Saulite or young Anthony Campbell gets caught in the crossfire again. Then people will want to know how the gardaí could let the gang situation get to this point. Then people will remember that half of the money to tackle this complicated problem was taken away."
Operation Anvil has got results. Initially, it was just Dublin-based, but it was rolled out nationwide once its effectiveness became apparent. In the first 10 months, 359 firearms were seized. The value of stolen property recovered in the same period was valued at €5.7m. It is an intelligence-driven operation, focusing often on targeting those involved in gun and drug crime, and is often reliant on overtime.
Despite its existence, in 2006 there were 19 gangland murders – three more than the year before. But gardaí were coming to grips with the situation. In 2007, there were 12 gang-related killings and, significantly, several serious criminals were prosecuted and taken off the streets.
"Since Anvil was set up, we have successfully dismantled some of the activities of serious crime gangs in this country," said another garda source. "The bloodshed in Crumlin and Drimnagh has more or less ended. And in Limerick we've seen some of the most serious players either imprisoned or leaving the country because of sustained pressure. But we know all too well that as soon as we begin to get a handle and dismantle one crime gang, another emerges elsewhere."
Rumours of cuts
Gardaí were aware that Anvil's budget was to be cut and there have been rumours to that effect for over a year.
"It remains to be seen if some stations or areas will be hit while it won't affect others as much," said an officer from a busy city- centre station in Dublin 8, which has a high rate of gangland activity. "There are certain spots in inner-city Dublin and Limerick that we simply cannot take away resources that are needed to target gangland activity. There will always need to be a visible presence of gardaí in areas such as Sheriff Street and parts of Limerick."
There is a protocol involved when a senior garda wants to launch an operation targeting gang crime in their district.
"We compile a report stating what the problem is and how we want to target it. It could be a drug-dealing operation we have received intelligence about or a surveillance or plainclothes operation," said an officer based in the Dublin 9 area. "We estimate what the operation would cost and then submit the report. Then the powers that be come back with a yes or a no. I haven't had a no this year yet. But I am aware that it's only January. If it's a busy year, some stations could be in trouble. It all depends on who's locked up and who's on the street. You cannot underestimate how things calm down when the main players are out of the equation."
Senior gardaí know they will have to be astute with the money made available. "As the garda commissioner indicated, we will focus on intelligence-driven operations probably more so than surveillance. The cost of surveillance is massive. If you are talking about 24/7 surveillance of someone, that's 24 gardaí a day. That's expensive," said the garda from Dublin 9. "I imagine there will be less of that. It's about getting value for money now."
Over an 18-month period between 2005 and 2006, 3,472 arrests were made and 562 firearms were recovered under Operation Anvil. Gardaí also carried out 23,775 searches and 6,833 surveillance operations. Countless murder attempts have been thwarted because of sustained garda pressure.
"These are not things we can measure in a tangible way. But without a doubt, many many lives have been saved because of Operation Anvil," said another source.
Marlo Hyland's gang in Finglas was dismantled by a major operation that was an off-shoot of Anvil, codenamed Operation Oak. Gardaí are now worried that if a chief superintendent has concern about a gang growing in strength and influence – there is significant gangland activity in areas such as Ballyfermot and Clondalkin – the money to launch an investigation into its activities might not be there.
New garda commissioner Martin Callinan tried to remain as upbeat as possible when announcing the news that Anvil's budget has been drastically reduced. He said the cuts in garda numbers – from 14,500 now to 13,000 by 2014 – and reductions in budgets, particularly overtime budgets, posed "huge challenges" for the force.
In relation to the €10m earmarked for Operation Anvil, he was keen to stress that gardaí had to get on with the job. "It is a big drop, but, nonetheless, it means that we have to be more focused in terms of what we are doing," said Callinan, the first Dubliner to run the force.
He said he would "work within" the budget, but added he was not "solely reliant" on it.
"While Operation Anvil is a fund that has been associated in particular with special policing operations – and that is the case – I also have funding available to me to complement and expand on those operations if and when required."
Further funding
Labour's justice spokesman Pat Rabbitte is seeking clarification from the justice minister on where exactly the commissioner might obtain other funding if the €10m runs out.
"We need more clarity. I have asked the minister where the commissioner would get additional money to target gangland [activity] as he has said he will do if needs be. I would not like to see a situation whereby people who are tormented by anti-social behavior do not have the same high standard of policing because those resources have been allocated to target the crime gangs."
Of five senior gardaí spoken to about the reduction in funding, all stressed it was an issue they felt able to deal with, for the moment at least.
"We have to take some pain, the same as everyone else. We just have to become better about how we handle our resources," said an officer from Limerick. "We will just have to be cleverer, more innovative and creative. If the need exists, I believe we will get the money we need. We have to stay positive."
It is impossible to measure what impact this will have on murder rates among the crime gangs this year. The gardaí may be low on cash but the criminals certainly aren't and they will continue their business of selling drugs regardless.
"We just have to wait and see how this year goes and deal with things as they come up," said the officer from Dublin 9.
"The problem is you just never know what will happen in gang­­land."
January 23, 2011

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Glamorous Deirdre caught running guns for The Don's gang

Irish Herald

Tuesday January 18 2011

THIS is the glamorous young woman caught running guns for gangland criminals.

Deirdre Moran (26) was nabbed by gardai when she took delivery of an assassin’s handgun from members of The Don’s criminal outfit in Dublin.

Today Moran – who twinned her gunrunning activity with being a shop manager – was beginning a five year jail sentence. She told gardai when she was arrested after a visit to Liffey Valley retail park that she had been to buy her son a PE top.


Inside her car, detectives from the Organised Crime Unit found a revolver supplied by Eamonn Dunne's drugs gang.

She was shipping it to another gangland outfit in the Northwest.

The shop manager lived a high-flying lifestyle while dating a leading gang member known to The Don.

However, Moran has just spent her first day in prison where she began a five-year sentence for possession of the silver Smith & Wesson revolver.

A source told the Herald: "This is the reality for people who get caught up with gangs.

"There may be a glamorous lifestyle in the short term but sooner or later you'll pay."

Moran is believed to have picked up the gun on behalf of a senior member of a Sligo-based drugs gang.


The mum of one, who is originally from the UK, was previously in a long-term relationship with a leading member of the drugs gang.

Mr Alan Toal, defending, said that Ms Moran had paid the price for getting into a relationship with the wrong man.

"She had an unblemished character and now by being involved, falling in love and having a child by the wrong man, she is now here," said Mr Toal.

Moran, of Glengar, Larkhill Road, Sligo, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of a Smith & Wesson .22 Long Rifle Revolver at the Lucan bypass on the M4 on September 1, 2009.

But she was found guilty by a majority verdict and given the mandatory sentence of five years.

Born in Manchester, she moved to Sligo when she was 14, and managed a clothes shop.

She picked up the gun in west Dublin and was stopped by gardai a short time later.

She claimed during the trial that she had travelled to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre from Sligo to purchase a navy jumper for her son's PE class as shops in her town had sold out.

Moran said she purchased the jumper in Dunnes Stores and placed the item behind the driver's seat.

She denied she came to Dublin to collect a gun and denied that she met anyone who gave her a gun. She also denied that she knew the gun was under the passenger seat of the car.

The gardai had received intelligence about the gun transfer, and followed Ms Moran's car.

They pulled her over as she drove on the M4.

The gardai claimed to have received "very specific information" about the gun and were told it was being transported in a black Opel Corsa registered to Ms Moran and driven by her.

Detective Sergeant Gerry McGrath said he briefed his team on the possible hand-over of a gun in the Lucan area.

He said they believed an Opel Corsa was being used to transport a gun from a member of an organised crime gang.

He said he got confirmation that she had the weapon and directed his men to the Lucan bypass where they stopped Ms Moran. A silver gun was found in a sock underneath the front passenger seat.