herald

Saturday 14 December 2019

Plotters 'heard talking about killing Hanley' in secret garda recording

Liam Brannigan has pleaded not guilty
Liam Brannigan has pleaded not guilty

A court has heard two murder plotters talking about jumping out of a van and killing a man in an audio clip recorded on a listening device placed in the vehicle by gardai.

Liam Brannigan (37), of Bride Street, Dublin 8, denies conspiring to murder Gary Hanley at a location within the State between September 15 and November 6, 2017.

Three men - Luke Wilson, Joseph Kelly and Alan Wilson - have already pleaded guilty to the plot to kill Mr Hanley and been jailed.

In the Special Criminal Court yesterday, the prosecution played a clip of an alleged conversation between Kelly and Alan Wilson while they were travelling in a Nissan van on September 29, 2017.

The court heard the two men discuss Mr Hanley and the routes that could be taken to get to Fairview in Dublin 3.

bulletproof

They also discussed traffic and how Mr Hanley walked to the gym at 5pm every day.

The passenger told the driver they could park their van and "the minute we see him" they could jump out, "do what we have to do to him, kill him" before driving around the corner, getting into another vehicle and letting someone else take care of their van.

One of the men also said they needed to find a route out of a housing estate.

They discussed how many sets of traffic lights were on one route and how Mr Hanley's home had bulletproof windows.

At one point the passenger is heard telling the driver to slow down and "take it real handy" as "he lives around here".

Sean Gillane, for the State, told the court that JK in the transcript was referring to Joe Kelly and AW to Alan Wilson.

The court has previously heard that secret listening devices were placed on six suspect vehicles by surveillance gardai in August, September and October 2017 as part of an investigation into members of the Kinahan gang and its associates. One was the white Nissan Primastar van.

Earlier yesterday, the court heard evidence from a surveillance garda, referred to as Garda W, who said they observed Liam Brannigan driving the Nissan van on September 8, 2017, in the Crumlin area.

Garda W also said they observed Mr Brannigan driving it on October 26, 2017, in the South Circular Road area.

Garda W said they saw Joseph Kelly driving the Nissan van the following day in the Cork Street area before it drove to the South Circular Road area and down Donore Avenue.

In cross-examination, Giol- laiosa O Lideadha, for Mr Brannigan, put it to Garda W that there can be a danger when several gardai are on observation duty and communicating over the radio, that one officer could incorporate an identification into their statement that might have been some other garda's observation.

Garda W told Mr O Lideadha: "I have known him [Mr Brannigan], so I was able to identify him at that specific time."

PISTOL

The court previously heard that Mr Brannigan was arrested at Hanover Court, Dublin 8, "minutes" after a loaded pistol was seized during the arrest of two men a "short distance" from Mr Hanley's home.

Luke Wilson (24), of Cremona Road, Ballyfermot, and Joseph Kelly (35), of Kilworth Road, Drimnagh, were arrested after their white Volkswagen Caddy was stopped on Philipsburgh Avenue, Marino, just after 8pm on November 6, 2017.

During that arrest, gardai seized a 9mm Beretta semi- automatic pistol, a silencer, a magazine loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition and other items.

Luke Wilson, Joseph Kelly and Alan Wilson (39), of New Street Gardens, Dublin 8, have all already pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder Mr Hanley and been jailed.

The trial continues.

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