herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Feared mobster Paschal Kelly jailed over threat to garda

Paschal Kelly at the CCJ.
Paschal Kelly at the CCJ.

A FORMER senior member of the gang that murdered Real IRA terror chief Alan Ryan has been jailed for threats to kill a Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) officer, tax evasion and serious driving offences.

Paschal Kelly (50), considered one of Ireland's most notorious criminals, was yesterday sentenced to four-and-a-half years by a judge at Dublin Central Criminal Court.

He was a long-term target for the Criminal Assets Bureau and he owes Revenue more than €427,000.

Kelly became annoyed when a CAB officer called to his partner's Balbriggan home, on April 7, 2011 and he subsequently phoned the officer.

"He stated that if I continued to seek him at that address, or watch that house ... he stated 'I will kill you, I will f ***ing kill you', before hanging up," the detective told an earlier court hearing.

Security

The threats led the officer to re-evaluate his security.

Kelly, who has an address at Cormeen, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, pleaded guilty to threatening to kill the officer, to delivering an incorrect tax return for 2003, and failing to make tax returns for 2004 and 2008.

In addition, Kelly pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and dangerous driving during a high-speed escape from officers from the Organised Crime Unit on October 9, 2012.

After being spotted at a petrol station on the Naas Road, Kelly drove at over 190kmph, undertook heavy vehicles, went against traffic and forced cars to take evasive action before eventually escaping.

Kelly has been in custody since last October when he was tracked down by heavily armed gardai to a rural hideout in Castlepollard, Co Westmeath.

He had previously been granted bail in Northern Ireland in November, 2013.

He had been on remand in jail there for money-laundering charges after a cross-border police operation in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, which occurred in February of that year.

Kelly has 47 previous convictions, including a four-year sentence for robbery in 1989 and ten years for a similar offence in 1997.

He was once a close associate of a Coolock gangster nicknamed 'Mr Big'. However, it is believed the two criminals are now in a bitter dispute over cash and Kelly has been isolated from many of the gang members who clubbed together to murder Alan Ryan in September, 2012.

It is understood that gardai want to question Kelly about a tiger kidnapping that happened at a north Dublin post office in September in which armed officers were forced to fire shots. The gang managed to flee the scene.

In February of last year in the High Court, Kelly had his Co Cavan home seized by CAB and was described by a judge as playing a "leading role in an organised criminal gang".

Feuds

Kelly, who is involved in a number of brutal gangland feuds in the capital was described in court as having links to a tiger-kidnapping gang.

It emerged that Kelly had access to a number of vehicles which he drove using a general car dealer's/garage insurance policy, even though he has no record of involvement in the motor trade.

The court ruled that apart from his home in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, he must also forfeit a 4x4 vehicle, €11,000 from the sale of another car, and around €3,000 in cash seized from the house.

Kelly was not the only dangerous north Dublin gangster to get a hefty jail term yesterday.

Separately, his former associate Derek Murphy (45), of Springdale Road, Raheny, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbing Portmarnock Credit Union of €2,800 on November 16, 2012. He received a ten-year sentence for the incident where he fired a gun while resisting arrest.

kfoy@herald.ie

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