Friday 13 December 2019

Trial hears 'Kinahan cartel murder plotters' on tape sniffing cocaine and talking about shooting woman, baby and gardaí

Liam Brannigan denies conspiring to kill Gary Hanley
Liam Brannigan denies conspiring to kill Gary Hanley

Olga Cronin

A court has heard an audio clip of two murder plotters sniff cocaine and talk about their readiness to shoot a woman and her baby or gardaí should any of them get in the way of their operation.

One of the would-be assassins was recorded on a listening device secretly placed in the vehicle as saying: “Baby or no baby, I don’t give a f**k.”

Liam Brannigan (37) is charged with conspiring to murder Gary Hanley at a location within the State between September 15 and November 6, 2017.

The accused has pleaded not guilty.

Three men - Luke Wilson, Joseph Kelly and Alan Wilson - have already being jailed after pleading guilty to the plot to kill Mr Hanley.

Gary Hanley, the alleged target of a murder conspiracy
Gary Hanley, the alleged target of a murder conspiracy

In the Special Criminal Court today, the prosecution played an audio clip of an alleged conversation between Luke Wilson and Joseph Kelly while they were travelling in a white Volkswagen caddy van on November 2, 2017.

This was four days before the two men were arrested a “short distance” from Mr Hanley’s home and gardai seized a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol and silencer.

The court has previously heard that Mr Brannigan - from Bride Street, Dublin 8 - was seen driving the same van on October 3, 2017.

In the clip played this morning, Luke Wilson and Joseph Kelly are heard in the van at around 6.40am on November 2, 2017. The two men are discussing how difficult it would be to break into a man’s home by going through the front door using a crowbar.

They’re also heard discussing when would be the most opportune time to shoot the man who’s “living over in Fairview”.

Male one says to male two: “This fella takes precautions big time”.

Male one adds: “He doesn’t even understand why our people want him gone because he’s such an idiot”.

“He’s an a**ehole,” male two replies.

One of the men says: “The only time you see him is when he’s standing at his door”, to which the other man replies, “That’s the perfect opportunity, man”.

Male two appears to be worried about what’s “beyond” the man’s front door. He also says that breaking down the front door with a crowbar would raise suspicion among the man’s neighbours and that they’d be surrounded by gardaí within minutes.

Male two then says that he would have no problem waiting in a van and says that when the man stepped out of his house “at some stage” he would shoot him.

He added: “Baby or no baby, I don’t give a f**k.”

The two men discussed the logistics of where they’d be positioned before male two repeats: “I really think there is an easier way than going through the front door with a crowbar. That’s going to take too much time. The neighbours are going to see that.”

Male two also said that they both need to let someone else, referred to as “him”, know that they’re not comfortable with using a crowbar at the front door.

One of the men said they’d been talking to “him” the night before.

One of the men also says that if a woman who lives at the house leaves without locking the door it would be easier for the two of them to carry out their plan.

Then male two suggests going “barefaced” up to the frontdoor, wearing a hi-viz jacket and holding a clipboard, knocking on the door and entering the premises and shooting the man.

Male one told male two he shouldn't go "barefaced" as "your f**king face is up".

“Don’t go barefaced, man,” male one said to male two.

One of the men again said that they’d been talking to “him” last night and asked if there was anybody who could “draw him out [of the house] with a phone call”.

Male one also said to male two that, according to his [male one’s] information, that the man goes to the gym every day at 5pm.

Male two then says he has no problem shooting the man’s female partner.

He said: “We get through the door, yeah. It’s going to be his missus, a child. If they get in the way, they’re going to be killed. She’s obviously going to try and get in the way. There’s a child going to be there.”

Male one responds: “Ah no, come here, the way it is, like - under strict orders - no birds are to be hit.”

However then male one adds: “If there’s a ricochet, there’s a ricochet, accidents happen.”

Male two then says: “If she gets in the way, I’ll give it to her.”

Male one suggests shooting anyone who gets in their way in the leg, saying “one in the leg, get the f**k out the way”.

The discussion then returns to their concerns about the front door, and how it would take five minutes to get through the heavy door.

Male two said: “There’s going to be people looking out of their window and the police will be all over us, know what I mean?”

He added that he intends on getting his “job done” no matter what.

“If police are there, I’m going to shoot the police as well,” he said.

Male two then repeats that there’s an “easier way to do this” and tells male one that he has information that the man goes to the gym every day.

Male two adds that he’s "only been talking to our friend across the road from you" and that they don’t know "what’s beyond that door".

Male two later appears to be relieved that male one agrees with him that it's a bad idea to break in the front door with a crowbar.

He said: “We need to get home safe and we need to get paid.”

Male one agrees. "It’s all about getting home… before anything, it’s getting home safe,” he said.

During the same conversation, one of the men can be heard sniffing intermittently and loudly before saying “coke is nice”.

The court has previously heard that secret listening devices were placed on six suspect vehicles by surveillance gardaí in August, September and October 2017, as part of an ongoing Garda investigation into members of the Kinahan organised crime gang and their associates.

One of these cars was the white Volkswagen caddy van.

Luke Wilson (24) - from Cremona Road in Ballyfermot, Dublin - and Joseph Kelly (35) - of Kilworth Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12 - were arrested after their caddy was stopped on Philipsburgh Avenue, Marino, Dublin 3, just after 8pm on the night of November 6, 2017.

During that arrest, gardai seized a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic pistol and other items.

Luke Wilson, Joseph Kelly and Alan Wilson (39) - of New Street Gardens, Dublin 8 - have all already pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder Mr Hanley and been jailed.

Luke Wilson has been jailed after pleading guilty to the plot to kill Gary Hanley 
Luke Wilson has been jailed after pleading guilty to the plot to kill Gary Hanley 
Joseph Kelly pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder Gary Hanley
Joseph Kelly pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder Gary Hanley

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