Friday 30 September 2016

CAB targets land, properties owned by widow of 'Fat Andy'

Published 23/03/2016 | 02:30

Andy Connors
Andy Connors
The house named The Villa, once owned by Andy Connors, in Blessington Road, Tallaght.
Ann Connors, widow of Andy Connors
The funeral of Andy Connors in 2014

The Criminal Assets Bureau has moved against several properties owned by the wife of slain gangland boss 'Fat' Andy Connors.

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They include a five-bedroom mansion with an indoor swimming pool once valued at €3m.

The bureau has registered judgment mortgages against nine properties in southwest Dublin, including houses and farmland.

Land Registry records show the judgment mortgages were registered in recent weeks.

It means any proceeds from Ann Connors' interest in the properties would go to the CAB should the properties be sold.

Burglary gang boss Connors (46), a father-of-six and a member of the travelling community, was shot dead by a masked man at his home in Saggart, Co Dublin, in August 2014.

His wife, four of their children, and a niece witnessed the murder.

They had been watching the Rose of Tralee on television when a masked man slipped into their home and shot him several times.

A getaway car and the gun used in the murder were found by gardaí, but the killer has yet to be brought to justice.

The CAB has been investigating the activities of Connors and his associates for some time.

It brought High Court proceeding against his wife Ann last December.

The properties where judgment mortgages were secured include a mansion known as 'The Villa' on the Blessington Road near Citywest.

It has five bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool, a sweeping grand staircase and an extravagant entrance hall.

The property also boasts two reception rooms, the first of which has a 160-year-old fireplace and a large chandelier.

The second reception room has hardwood oak floors and ornate ceiling mouldings.

Despite constructing such an opulent mansion, Connors and his family are reputed to have preferred living in caravans in the back garden.

Many of the rooms are understood to have remained unfurnished.

At one point the mansion had around 20 caravans on its grounds.

It was placed on the market with a price tag of €3m in 2005, but failed to sell.

Also subject to judgment mortgages are three parcels of land totalling 11.5 acres in size off the Slade Road near Saggart.

Judgment mortgages were also secured by the CAB against three properties on 3.4 acres of land at Boherboy, Saggart, including one known as 'The Ranch'.

Further judgment mortgages were secured on a house in Cloonmore Park, Tallaght, and a cottage in Cookstown Road, Tallaght.

All of the properties were in Mrs Connors' name, according to Land Registry documents.

'Fat' Andy Connors gained notoriety after amassing considerable wealth from his burglary operation and is said to have lived a lavish lifestyle.

He described himself as a horse trader and land dealer.

But in reality he was involved in a burglary gang which is believed to have had over 200 members.

The gang was responsible for hundreds of burglaries around the country in recent years, using high-powered cars and taking advantage of the motorway system.

Connors was said to be rarely involved in the burglaries himself, but was considered the mastermind behind the gang's operations.

The gang was one of the main targets of Operation Fiacla, a garda crackdown on burglary gangs.

Connors made a €150,000 settlement with the Criminal Assets Bureau in 2004 and had several convictions.

At his funeral, his remains were brought to the church in a gold-plated coffin worth €28,000, which was imported from England.

There was a large garda presence at the ceremony.

A six-foot high memorial marble statue worth €50,000 was erected at his grave in Gorey, Co Wexford.

Connors is thought to have been involved in disputes with a Dublin businessman and dissident republicans at the time of this death.

Irish Independent

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