'Mr Nobody' is given 10-year jail sentence for managing cartel arsenal
Cartel gangster 'Mr Nobody' has been jailed for more than 10 years after he was caught with an arsenal of weapons.
Declan Brady (53), who had been tasked by senior criminals to mind the firearms and ammunition in the loft of a "fake" Dublin business premises, has been sentenced to 11-and-a-half years' imprisonment by the Special Criminal Court. The final year was suspended.
Brady, known as 'Mr Nobody', pleaded guilty at the non-jury court to possessing nine revolvers, four semi-automatic pistols, a sub-machine gun, an assault rifle and 1,355 rounds of ammunition in suspicious circumstances at Unit 52, Block 503, Grants Drive, Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole, Co Dublin.
Brady, of The Park, Wolstan Abbey, Celbridge, Co Kildare, "supervised and was in overall charge" of the "arsenal", according to the three-judge court.
Presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Coffey said the nature and quantity of the firearms, ammo and other items, warranted an inference that the "arsenal" was assembled to "support and sustain organised crime of the most serious nature".
He said Brady was the "principal" target of a covert surveillance operation on the day in question.
Following his arrest, the weapons were found in the loft of a "fake" business premises, made to look like the Irish subsidiary of a legitimate UK haulage firm.
Along with 17 firearms, Mr Justice Coffey said two silencers, two electronic tracking devices, a radio and a glove were found. The court heard previously that four loaded revolvers were found "ready for imminent use".
Mr Justice Coffey said Brady was assisted by two other persons who had been dealt with previously.
Jonathan Harding (45), of McNeill Court, Sallins, Co Kildare, and James Walsh (33), of Neilstown Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, were sentenced to 10 years and nine years in jail respectively, with the final year of each sentence suspended.
The judge said Brady had received instructions from senior criminal figures based abroad to "mind" the "arsenal".
The fact Brady was in "overall charge" of the cache required the court to fix a headline sentence of 14 years, where the maximum available sentence is 14 years.
Mr Justice Coffey said the court would reduce the headline sentence to 11-and-a-half years to take account of the mitigating factors.
Brady had pleaded guilty. He had no relevant previous convictions and his daughter had been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, which was relevant to sentencing, the judge said.
Furthermore, a prison governor's report indicated Brady was of good behaviour while in custody.
In order to incentivise Brady's rehabilitation while in custody, Mr Justice Coffey, who sat with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge David McHugh, suspended the final year on condition Brady enter into a good behaviour bond for the suspended period.
The sentence was backdated to January 24, 2017, when Brady first went into custody. He blew a kiss to family members as he was led into custody.
At last month's sentence hearing, Detective Inspector Noel Browne, of the National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, told the court gardai put in place a surveillance operation focusing on certain individuals and the warehouse on January 24, 2017.
Det Insp Browne told Fiona Murphy, prosecuting, that the movements of Brady and Harding were monitored on the morning of January 24.
The two men were arrested by gardai at 11.17am that day. Brady had three mobile phones on him and was taken to Clondalkin Garda Station.
Gardai then entered the unit at Greenogue at 11.30am on foot of an emergency warrant and found Walsh in the reception area of the premises.
The court heard that the unit was purporting to be the premises of a logistics company.
Det Insp Browne said that in the upstairs loft area, a number of loaded firearms were laid out on cardboard sheeting on the floor.
The operation ran from January 2016 until its detection in January 2017.