herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Violent gang thug caught with hooch in highest security jail

Prison

Michael Fagan
Michael Fagan

A gangster who was sentenced last week for pointing a replica gun at a garda's head and threatening to shoot him in the course of a foiled armed robbery has been caught with hooch in jail.

Michael Fagan (24), who is a key member of the so called 'new breed' of young criminals involved in the latest instalment of the Crumlin/Drimnagh feud, is a key member of the Brian Rattigan faction.

And the dangerous thug is sharing the 'C' landing in Ireland's highest security jail in Portlaoise with his close associate Rattigan (34), who is serving a life sentence for a feud-related murder as well as a lengthy sentence for heroin trafficking from jail.

Jail insiders have revealed that Fagan was on his own in his cell when it was stormed by prison officers on Tuesday, who seized "a considerable amount of hooch" from the criminal.

The seizure happened only six days after Drimnagh man Fagan was given a five-year sentence for a terrifying incident in May, 2014.

The court heard that he and a teenager tried to rob a shop in Ranelagh just as off-duty garda, Brendan O'Toole, was driving past. Fagan has been in custody since then and has had a number of brushes with jail authorities, including being disciplined last month in Portlaoise Prison for fighting with another inmate.

His 48 previous convictions include burglary, assault and criminal damage and he is a suspect for a horrific aggravated burglary that happened in Meath last year shortly before he attempted to rob the shop in Ranelagh.

Last October, when the reckless criminal was on remand in Mountjoy Prison, two thugs broke into his home in Drimnagh before entering the kitchen of the house and screaming threats about him. The group shouted "Micka is going to get it", before smashing up a microwave and leaving the house.

FEUD

In fact, Fagan was involved in a number of brutal feud incidents before he was finally locked up over a year ago after his arrest in Ranelagh.

"This fella is typical of the new breed of criminal who've got involved in feud-related activity in the locality," a source explained. "He is violent and unpredictable and has been in trouble with the law since he was a teenager."

Last week in Dublin Circuit Court, it emerged that Garda O'Toole alerted gardai and tried to block both males leaving the shop at Mount Pleasant Avenue in Ranelagh, but Fagan got out.

The garda held on to the other suspect but Fagan came back into the shop, pointed the gun at the officer and told him to free the youth.

Garda O'Toole eventually let the youth go and both robbers fled - but the brave officer gave pursuit and arrested Fagan.

Fagan admitted attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm. He was jailed for five years.

Sources say he is unlikley to face major sanction after being caught with hooch this week.

Prison hooch can be produced from apples, oranges, fruit juice, ketchup, sugar and even milk. The sugars then turn into alcohol.

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