AN uncle of "Fat" Freddie Thompson, who was used by the gang boss to deal drugs, has been jailed for 11 years.
John Brannigan was used by Thompson to peddle cocaine and heroin, mixing and bagging the drugs at his Dublin home. He was branded “a danger to society” by a judge yesterday as she jailed him for possession of both drugs.The father-of-four became a dealer for his own son Liam on Thompson's instructions, the Herald has learned.
Brannigan (47) was caught with more than €55,000 worth of drugs over the course of six raids on his home by officers from Kevin Street Garda Station, who are cracking down on Thompson's gang.
A source said Thompson's exploitation of his chronically-addicted uncle showed “how low he has sunk”. Brannigan had already tried to take the blame when his son Liam - one of Thompson's closest allies - was caught in possession of a “golf ball” of cocaine. Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard
John Brannigan was caught in possession of more than €15,000 worth of cocaine and heroin with a value in excess of €40,000 at his home at Rosary Road, Maryland, Dublin 8.
He pleaded guilty to six counts of possession of drugs with intent to sell or supply.
Between May 2007 and August 2008, he was found mixing, preparing and bagging drugs, each time at his home -- and sometimes as soon as a week after a previous raid.
Paraphernalia such as mixers and mixing agents, weighing scales and blades were found. On one occasion, crack cocaine was found and signs of "intentions to make crack cocaine".
The majority of the raids were carried out by gardai from Kevin Street station, with prosecuting officers also coming from Sundrive Road and Kilmainham.
Judge Katherine Delahunt said it was an "extraordinary case" as Brannigan had been dealing drugs from the one location for a year and a half, having been caught six times.
"You continued to use the same house, which indicated you were a chronic addict seeking to fund your own addiction," she told him.
Brannigan had been separated from his wife for 15 years and had only worked for two and half years, as a porter in St James's Hospital.
He was "not a violent man" and had fully co-operated with gardai when they confronted him over his activities.
Judge Delahunt expressed her surprise that Brannigan was not in custody as the cases against him progressed. "On the latter two matters you were on bail and this is an aggravating factor," the judge said.
"One rarely sees such continuing offending over such a relatively short period of time.
"You were a man, Mr Brannigan, who was a drug dealer, no more and no less, on a relatively large scale.
"I have to look at the hardship you have inflicted on all the people you have sold these drugs to. You are a man who is and was at this time a danger to society."
The court heard there were "no trappings of wealth" in Brannigan's house.
The judge sentenced him to 15 years in jail, with the final four years suspended on condition that he keeps the peace when he is released.
The sentence was backdated to July last year, when he went into custody. The judge refused leave to appeal.
The accused, wearing a black anorak and purple shirt, showed no emotion when the sentence was handed down.
Liam Brannigan was given a two-year suspended sentence last year for the "golf ball" of cocaine that was found in his possession. His father tried to convince the court that the drugs were his, but the judge did not believe him.
The Coombe native is considered by gardai to be a close personal friend and business ally of Thompson. The pair were regularly seen together and Brannigan was believed to be one of the few people the crime boss completely trusted.