Fraudster took in victims with extravagant lies

By Caroline Crawford and Sam Griffin

THE victims of a scam artist who were fooled by his web of lies have revealed how it was his trick for understating his apparent wealth that drew them in.

Conor Brannigan (41), from Stafford Hall, Silver St, Nenagh, Co Tipperary, fooled dozens of honest businessmen with his web of lies, boasting of 
million-euro international deals, hundreds of properties around the country and personal friendships with top developers.

In between his fraudulent business deals, Brannigan was also juggling four women, telling gardai he was living four separate lives. He had a Polish partner and child, two fiancees from Roscommon and Kerry and a wife and three children in Tipperary.

Brannigan had all the trapping of wealth expected during the Celtic Tiger years.

He drove a Mercedes Jeep, and an SUV. He boasted of a helicopter in Galway and wined and dined friends at the Galway Races, according to former friends.

"On the front of it he came across as a very high earner," said one victim of his fraud.

"He was living everywhere, using substantial funds for extended hotel stays. A fair amount of money whet on hotel stays in Dublin mostly."

Brannigan added to his litany of lies by boasting of a significant property portfolio and hinting of friendships with high-profile developers.

"He said to friends that he had 200 residential properties around Ireland. He would often quote developers," said one victim.

Portraying himself as an accountant and forensic accountant, Brannigan often disappeared telling people he was travelling abroad for work.

He also often went on trips to the US to allegedly raise credit capital and would quote figures of several million that he had achieved as pledges, 
according to former friends.

"He would walk down Fifth Avenue in New York and point at a building saying that was where his venture capital business was based in New York. He'd go over to the doorman and have a conversation with him. It was all so credible."

His wife, Emer Brannigan, was not at home when approached for comment by the Herald last night.

A neighbour outside her home in Terryglass, Co Tipperary, said she was finding the revelations very difficult to deal with.

The Herald has also learned that Mr Brannigan presented himself as a major financier for a businessman and tried to set up a number of O'Brien's sandwich bars in Dublin and elsewhere.