Tuesday 23 July 2019

The day 'Mr Nobody' became a somebody - how gardaí snared Kinahan gang 'fixer'

  

Caught: Declan Brady was one of the financial masterminds for the Kinahan cartel
Caught: Declan Brady was one of the financial masterminds for the Kinahan cartel
Jane Last

Jane Last

In the days after he was arrested by gardaí, Declan Brady (52) was given the name 'Mr Nobody'.

He wasn't known to gardaí, was far less obvious than other members of the Kinahan cartel, and seemingly happy to operate under the radar.

However in the months before the massive seizure, Brady had been subject to a massive secret surveillance operation by the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB).

Before the garda operation and seizure in Rathcoole, he was identified as one of the cartel's main logistics and finance organisers. He was also observed travelling overseas on visits to the organisation's main leaders in the UK and Spain.

However his presence in the warehouse during the raid marked the first-time 'Mr Nobody' had ever been found at a crime scene.

Despite the nickname given to him after his arrest, sources say gardaí were well aware Brady was one of the main fixers for the Kinahan gang in Ireland, and had known this for a year before his arrest.

"He was being watched at very high levels," one source said.

He was seen as the gang's main organiser, taking charge of the finances and the acquisition of firearms for the members of the gang operating here.

He has not been involved in any of the attacks but was regarded as a very significant player in the cartel "behind the scenes".

At the time of his arrest, one garda officer told the Irish Independent: "He is one of the most important, if not the most important, Kinahan figure, based in this country."

Brady, who is originally from South Dublin but told gardaí he was living in Celbridge, Co Kildare at the time of his arrest, was seen as a "money man" with close links to senior figures such as Liam Byrne and Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh, as well as Daniel Kinahan.

Since his arrest two years ago, Brady has been in custody in Ireland's highest security prison in Portlaoise.

His arrest and removal from his role dealt a huge blow to the Kinahan cartel.

The Hutch/Kinahan feud has claimed the lives of 17 people since September 2015, including two innocent men, Trevor O'Neill and Martin O'Rourke

Speaking at a Joint Policing Committee of Dublin City Council last month, Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy, in charge of the Dublin region, described the feud as "inter-generational" and fears it would go on for years to come.

Almost 90,000 checkpoints and patrols have been carried out under Operation Hybrid since it began in Feburary 2016, days after gunmen dressed as gardaí stormed the Regency Hotel and shot David Byrne dead.

"This has not gone away, it is unlikely to go away," Mr Leahy said.

"This is inter-generational. These people are neighbours, and they were always neighbours. They know each other intimately.

"They've grown up with each other, they've gone to school with each other, some have now been convicted of the most outrageous crimes and have been sentenced to life imprisonment."

Irish Independent

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