One of the main players in a Traveller gang which works closely with the Kinahan cartel has pleaded guilty to possessing more then €900,000 in illegal cash.
Bernard 'Gan' Joyce, of Newtown, Beauparc, Slane, Co Meath, appeared before Wexford Circuit Criminal Court.
Joyce, who has been a huge target for gardai for years, is now facing serious jail time after he arrived during a raid led by the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) with the cash hidden in a camper van.
He pleaded guilty to possessing €911,600, which may have been the proceeds of criminal conduct, at Arnestown, Foulksmills, Co Wexford, on September 22, 2018, under the money-laundering act.
Defence counsel Philip Sheahan SC said much of this would have stemmed from a gambling habit which had got out of control. It was a significant gambling addiction, he said.
Mr Sheahan, in applying for an adjournment of sentencing, asked the court to allow time for a governor's report, education report, probation and welfare report and psychological report.
He added that the defendant was in custody on this charge.
Judge Quinn said he would not grant the application over the psychological report, but if it was relevant at the sentencing hearing he would look at it again.
He said he would grant the application over the remaining reports.
Sentencing was adjourned to June 19 with the defendant remanded in custody.
The Herald can reveal Joyce is closely connected to a mob that was targeted last month by gardai, who found a huge haul of weapons and bullets as well as a monkey in a cage.
Two brothers who are suspected of being key members of the dangerous organised Traveller gang were arrested at the scene of the search operation at a halting site in Finglas on April 4.
The brothers were later released without charge after officers were initially unable to link them to the weapons, guns and drugs which weren't found in "any particular property" according to gardai, but a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
It is understood that the weapons and ammunition seized was hidden in waste ground on the site, meaning that criminal charges could be difficult to obtain in the case.
While Joyce awaits his sentence, gardai continue to closely monitor his mob's activities.
Two other main players were busted with €220,000 of drugs cash in a suburb of Amsterdam last year as part of a major operation carried out by heavily armed members of the Dutch police force.
The duo spent a number of months in custody in the Netherlands before eventually being bailed and returning to Ireland earlier last year.
The wider gang has been the subject of a number of operations by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), including a massive raid in Co Meath last November when officers seized €1.5m in cash as well as other items.
Apart from a nationwide drug-dealing operation, the mob is suspected of making up to €1m from cash-in-transit robberies in the capital between 2013 and 2016.
The gang is also involved in large-scale, heavily organised theft, fraud, money-laundering and burglary offences.
The mob is one of a number of criminal gangs working together in a multi-million euro international car-theft ring in which vehicles are stolen to order across Ireland and then shipped out of the country.