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'Dunne told me that I'd be seeing God if I didn't rob cash van'

A man has told a jury that Eamon Dunne told him if he did not get involved in a cash-in-transit robbery he "would be on top of Marlo" and would be "seeing God".

Joseph Warren (30), of Belclare Crescent, Ballymun, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to conspiring to steal cash from Chubb Ireland at Tesco supermarket on the Shackleton Road, Celbridge, on November 2, 2007.

Warren said he had met Dunne for the first time earlier that year when Dunne offered to sell him a car.


He said he was due money from a claim, having been injured in the army, and that Dunne told him he could pay him the €4,000 for the Skoda Octavia when the claim came in.

Warren told his counsel, Alan Toal, that this conversation took place at a gym in Sillogue in Ballymun. He said he knew at that time that Dunne was a gangster and "was a very, very serious man". He said it was in the papers that Dunne had killed another criminal, Martin 'Marlo' Hyland.

Warren said his claim was slow to come through and eventually Dunne approached him in September 2007 and said, "I don't give a bollix about your claim" before he told him he had two weeks to pay the debt, which had grown to €8,000.

Mr Warren explained that prior to getting the car from Dunne, he had built up debts with various people because of a serious gambling addiction. He said Dunne told him not to bother paying those other people and to refer them on to him.

He said after the two weeks were up he was told to meet Dunne again at the gym. When he said he didn't have his money, Dunne told him he would have to "work it off".

He said it was initially suggested to him that he would have to sell off drugs for Dunne, but when he was reluctant to do that he was contacted a short time later to say he had "something handier for me".

"He told me to get a consaw, make sure it was working and it had a blade, and he would get back to me. He said it was straightforward and simple and all my problems would then go away.

"He told me I would be cutting open a cash-in-transit van and then walking away from it," Mr Warren told the jury.

He said he replied, "come on it's only €8,000", and offered to give him back the Skoda, but Dunne replied, "It's either the €8,000 or you are going to God".

When asked by Mr Toal if Dunne was a religious man, Warren replied, "well he filled half the cemeteries around the country".

"I planked myself, I shat myself, I did not want to see God," Warren continued.

Warren said Dunne called him "a low-life" and said "that I had thrown back all he had done for me in his face. He said you either do this or you end up on top of 'Marlo'.

"I was frightened. I was told there was no way out of this. He [Dunne] lay down the law. It's either his way or the highway. That's how he operated," Mr Warren continued.

When asked by counsel if he ever considered going to Dunne's friend Brian O'Reilly, who was related to Warren through marriage, he said he didn't want to cause friction between the two.

"It would not matter who you went to, you would ultimately have to deal with Eamon," Warren said.

The jury earlier heard that Mr Warren was wearing a bullet-proof vest on the night Dunne was shot dead, in April 2010, and days later carried his coffin in a funeral cortege.

The jury were shown nine photographs of Dunne's funeral which depicted Warren acting as pall-bearer.

The photographs also showed Mr Warren embracing Eamon Dunne's father as the coffin was placed in the hearse.

Detective Superintendent Dominic Hayes, who led the investigation into the Cellbridge raid told Mr Toal, that it was his belief that Warren was a willing participant in the raid and that he had not been under duress that day,

Mr Warren continues his evidence today.