herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

GAA coach who worked for drugs gang is jailed

A GAA coach who was jailed for seven years for his involvement in the distribution of almost €600,000 worth of cannabis had been working for a long-established south Dublin drugs gang.

David Gill (38) was jailed yesterday after being caught delivering the drugs in his van during a garda surveillance operation in Stillorgan.

A follow-up search of a container he used revealed a large amount of the drug in various forms. A further search of Gill's home uncovered €30,000 hidden in a pool table.

Sources have revealed that detailed garda operations are ongoing against the gang that Gill worked for, described as "a highly-organised crew" who are based in the Sandyford area of south Dublin and have been operating for well over a decade.

FEUDS

"From their base in the Moreen estate, this crowd have made a fortune from the drugs trade. An important thing about them is that they don't get involved in gang feuds or anything like that, so they have managed to operate under the radar," said a senior source.

An investigating garda told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday that Gill was being used as a "disposable and safe" mule by "a respected and feared figure in the criminal fraternity".

The court heard Gill is heavily involved in organising and coaching GAA in his community and that garda said the high-ranking criminal took advantage of Gill's position as someone who wouldn't attract garda attention.

Gill, a father of four from The Pines, Leopardstown Road, pleaded guilty to possessing the drug at three locations within Dublin on August 22, 2013.

Judge Martin Nolan noted Gill's previous good character but said that he was involved in distributing drugs for reward "on an industrial scale".

Detective Garda Val Russell told 
prosecuting counsel Paul Carroll BL that a surveillance operation spotted Gill 
leaving the Stillorgan lock-up in his van and driving to a restaurant in the JFK industrial Estate in Bluebell.

He was seen handing over a black bag to another man, which was later found to contain a kilogram of cannabis when that man was stopped nearby.

Gardai stopped Gill's van a short time later and found 35 packs of cannabis, weighing 8.5kgs, in Ikea bags in the back. A further 19.5kgs was found in the lock-up. The total value of the seized drugs was €580,000.

COURIER

Gill made full admissions in interview and said he was being paid €500 to make deliveries that day.

He said half of the €30,000 in his house belonged to him and that he was holding the rest for someone else.

Defence counsel Pauline Walley SC said Gill has no previous convictions and worked as a courier until he lost his job in 2010.

She said he was trying to provide for his family by distributing the drugs.

Counsel said he was "hugely" involved in several GAA clubs in his area as well as the Glenmore Dundrum soccer club.

Ms Walley added that Gill wanted to plead guilty before he had even seen the book of evidence but was discouraged from doing so by his solicitor. He later entered an early guilty plea.

kfoy@herald.ie

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