The 42-year-old is on trial at the Special Criminal Court for the attempted murder of three men
A man on trial accused of the attempted murder of three men is a member of the Kinahan organised crime gang, a former head of the National Surveillance Unit (NSU) has told the Special Criminal Court.
Retired Detective Superintendent William Johnson told the three-judge, non-jury court that on October 13, 2017 he authorised members of the NSU to put an audio listening device into a Volkswagen Caddy that he believed was being used by the accused man Alan Wilson and others in their activities as members of the criminal gang.
He said gardai needed to monitor conversations taking place inside the van to prevent crimes that included risk to the lives of others.
The prosecution alleges that audio devices placed in the Caddy and a Nissan Primastar in 2017 recorded Mr Wilson admitting to shooting three men outside the Player's Lounge pub in Dublin in 2010.
At the beginning of the trial Ronan Kennedy SC, for the prosecution, said Mr Wilson could be heard in one recording saying: "Remember the shooting at the Player's Lounge; I done that."
In another, the prosecution alleges Mr Wilson expressed amazement at how one of the men survived, saying: "One of them, right in the forehead and five times in the body, it's amazing how the c***s pull through it, like."
Mr Wilson's lawyers are challenging the legality of the decision to authorise members of the NSU to place a listening device in the Caddy.
Alan Wilson (42), with a last address at New Street Gardens, Dublin 8, has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murders of Brian Masterson, Wayne Barrett and Austin Purcell at The Player's Lounge Public House, Fairview Strand, Fairview, Dublin 3 on July 26, 2010.
Mr Wilson has also pleaded not guilty to the possession of firearms and ammunition, namely: a .38 Special Calibre Smith & Wesson revolver and .38 special calibre ammunition and a .32 Auto Calibre Zastava semi-automatic pistol and .32 auto calibre ammunition with intent to endanger life at the same location and on the same date.
Mr Johnson told prosecuting counsel John Byrne SC that Superintendent Ciaran Hoey called him after 11pm on 13 September 2017.
He said gardai had been watching the Volkswagen Caddy for about two days while it remained parked in Inchicore but Supt Hoey told him he had received information that the van was about to be moved.
Mr Johnson said he was aware that Supt Hoey was investigating members of the Kinahan crime gang, one of whom was the accused man Alan Wilson.
He pointed to Mr Wilson in court as one of the members of that gang.
He named two others not before the court as being members of the same gang.
Mr Johnson said he believed that if he refused Supt Hoey's application for a warrant to place an audio surveillance device in the van, the opportunity would be lost.
He added: "The operation needed evidence and information to be gathered to save lives and safeguard property and to allow An Garda Siochana to monitor Alan Wilson and the organised crime group to protect life and property."
He said he could not wait until the following morning to get a warrant from a District Court as the device needed to be deployed urgently, before the van was moved.
He said he authorised the device to be used for 13 hours and 50 minutes, giving time for gardai to apply to a court the following morning for a warrant allowing them to continue using the device.
The trial continues in front of Ms Justice Tara Burns, presiding, with Judge James Faughnan and Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin.