Jim Cusack: Old pals' sinister underworld web captured on tape
The association between 'fixer' John Traynor and gang boss John Gilligan was close and fraught, says Jim Cusack
John Traynor hoped to be one of those criminals who were smarter than the system, smarter, in fact, than both the criminal justice system – the garda and the courts – and the criminals – the professional murderers, robbers and drug dealers.
He had a well-known distaste for prison. In his early life he had been a petty criminal. His first recorded conviction was in 1961 at the age of 13 when he was given the Probation Act for burglary. He joined the merchant navy as a seaman at the age of 15 to avoid prison after a series of convictions for minor offences. He returned to life on shore in the early Seventies and despite marrying and starting a family, resumed his life of crime.