Tuesday 17 October 2017

Wife of slain gangster swaps lavish life for burglary gang

Ann Connors, wife of ‘Fat’ Andy Connors, now says she is broke
Ann Connors, wife of ‘Fat’ Andy Connors, now says she is broke

Eimear Cotter

Her criminal husband Andy Connors was buried in a gold-plated coffin wearing jewellery worth more than €100,000.

But archetypal gangster's moll Ann Connors is desperate for money after the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) swooped.

Shortly after being hit for €2.5m by CAB, she was caught up in an apparent burglary gang in affluent Leopardstown, thanks to the quick thinking of an off-duty garda.

Three years ago, 'Fat' Andy Connors died in his wife's arms after being shot five times at his home in Saggart, west Dublin.

He was believed to have had links to a gang responsible for hundreds of burglaries which stretched across the country.

He is also believed to have acted as a bank-roller for senior drugs traffickers over the decade leading up to his death.

Andy Connors was buried in a gold coffin with a €40,000 Rolex on his wrist
Andy Connors was buried in a gold coffin with a €40,000 Rolex on his wrist

On the back of these spoils, the pair had previously enjoyed a champagne lifestyle, and were pictured on nights out wearing designer gear and sipping bubbly.

He was buried in a gold-plated coffin wearing expensive jewellery, including a Rolex Presidential Diamond watch which alone was worth €40,000.

Now his 40-year-old wife claims she is surviving on social welfare after a huge CAB bill for €2.5m, which was brought in the wake of her husband's murder.

Connors' latest problems began last year when off-duty garda Dermot Haugh spotted her driving on the M50 and followed her to the south Dublin suburb, where it is believed a burglary was about to take place.

He told how he saw a brown Nissan Almera being driven in an erratic manner.

He recognised Connors, who was the driver, as well as a young male in the front seat.

There was a second young male and two children in the back, Dun Laoghaire District Court was told.

Garda Haugh followed the car, which took Junction 15 off the M50.

Andy Connors was buried in a gold coffin with a €40,000 Rolex on his wrist
Andy Connors was buried in a gold coffin with a €40,000 Rolex on his wrist

He followed the car down Brewery Road in Stillorgan, lost sight of it briefly but saw it again parked up at Leopardstown Avenue.

The two young men got out of her car and were seen walking up a driveway wearing gloves and with their faces covered.

Garda Haugh said they ran back and got into the car when they spotted him.

The car did a U-turn and, as it turned out of the estate, a screwdriver was thrown out of the passenger window.

Connors herself was caught with a 30cm screwdriver, a pair of black gloves and balaclava on Leopardstown Avenue.

Connors claimed she had never seen the screwdriver or gloves before and that she was on her way to visit her ill sister-in-law in hospital.

But Judge Ann Watkin said she was telling "complete lies".

Connors was found guilty of possession of a screwdriver and black gloves for use in a theft or burglary in Leopardstown on April 19, 2016

The court heard a white sock with stg£160 (€184) was also found.

Judge Watkin ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing to next May.

The judge said she believed Connors was "part and parcel of an enterprise to commit a burglary.

And despite Connors' plea of poverty, the judge also deferred legal aid.

Gardaí had objected, claiming that, at the time of the incident, Connors still had €13,000 in a bank account.

Irish Independent

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