Tuesday 25 September 2018

Veteran criminal among first jailed for importing cocaine


Eamon Kelly (65) was involved in organised crime for more than four decades.

In the early 1970s he used a carpet business in Dublin's north inner city as a front for his criminal activities, which included armed robbery and extortion.

He was associated with the Official IRA, though he never joined the republican movement.

Kelly used the threat of the Official IRA to back up his extortion activities and to terrorise other criminals while he built his empire.

He also contributed money to the Official IRA and helped them with armed robberies as part of their fundraising activities.

The carpet business was wound up by the High Court in 1981 and a liquidator was appointed on behalf of the Revenue Commissioners over unpaid bills.

Kelly's association with the Official IRA led to his conviction in 1984 for the stabbing of a man outside the old Workers' Party Club in Gardiner Street. He was jailed for 10 years, but following an appeal a retrial was ordered and he was sentenced to three.

Kelly was jailed in 1993 for smuggling a large shipment of cocaine into Ireland, one of the first criminals jailed for importing it.

He was sentenced to 14 years after he was caught with almost a kilo of the drug then worth £500,000.

Kelly was linked to other major crime figures including Martin Hyland and Eamon Dunne, and it is understood he fell foul of the Real IRA gang led by Alan Ryan who was himself murdered by a drugs gang. It is believed Kelly had refused to pay protection money to the Real IRA and this led to an unsuccessful attempt on his life in 2010.

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