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Kinahan mobster to be sentenced next month over failed murder plot

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Plotter Liam Brannigan

Plotter Liam Brannigan

Plotter Liam Brannigan

A man convicted of conspiring with Kinahan cartel murder plotters to gun down Dubliner Gary Hanley will be sentenced next month.

Liam Brannigan (37), of Bride Street, Dublin 8, was convicted by the Special Criminal Court earlier this month of conspiring to murder Gary Hanley at a location within the State between September 15 and November 6, 2017.

The defendant had pleaded not guilty.

At a sentence hearing for Brannigan yesterday morning, the Special Criminal Court heard he has 28 previous convictions, with 27 relating to road traffic matters and one for a drugs possession charge, for which he received a suspended sentence in Dublin Circuit Court in 2007.

Detective Superintendent Dave Gallagher told the court that Brannigan's most recent conviction was in 2008 for a road traffic matter.

Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC, for Mr Brannigan, said the court will note the maximum sentence is 10 years.

He argued that "very significantly" Brannigan, who has been in custody since his arrest on November 6, 2017, has never received a custodial sentence and that his traffic convictions relate to him not displaying his car insurance or his licence.

The barrister said Brannigan has two sons and that he plays a "very active role" in their lives by giving them "loving, positive engagement in various aspects of their lives".

Mr O Lideadha also told the court that Brannigan completed a one-year access programme course to get into UCD and completed two-thirds of his studies in archaeology and history.

Mr O Lideadha indicated this showed Brannigan "has potential" for his future.

When Mr Justice Paul Coffey found Brannigan guilty earlier this month, he said the evidence derived from four areas.

Sightings

This included phone data extracted from the plotters' phones and the "interconnectivity" of these phones; sightings of the men by gardai; and a montage of CCTV footage showing their movements, he said.

Armed gardai intercepted a Volkswagen Caddy van just 500 yards from Mr Hanley's home on the night of November 6, 2017, when two men, Joseph Kelly and Luke Wilson, were found with a loaded semi-automatic pistol.

On the same night, Alan Wilson was arrested on the Crumlin Road in Dublin 12 while Liam Brannigan was arrested at his home in Hanover Court, Hanover Lane, Dublin 8.

Handing down judgment on February 3, Mr Justice Coffey said "such is the overwhelming weight of the consistency and cogency" of the evidence connecting Brannigan to the operation, the non-jury court was in no doubt that he was involved in the murder conspiracy.

Luke Wilson (24), of Cremona Road in Ballyfermot, Dublin; Alan Wilson (39) of New Street Gardens, Dublin 8; Joseph Kelly (35), of Kilworth Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12; and Dean Howe (34), of Oakfield, Dublin 8, all pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder Mr Hanley.

Luke Wilson, who also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a Beretta, was jailed for 11 years. Alan Wilson was given six years and Joseph Kelly, who also admitted a weapons charge, was jailed for 12 years. Dean Howe will be sentenced on March 3.

The judge said Brannigan will be sentenced on March 23.