A Kildare printer was “working with the IRA” while running a sophisticated counterfeit banknote operation a court has heard.
Richard Molloy, aged 44, will be sentenced later after he was caught selling €20,000 in counterfeit bills to an IRA man in exchange for €2,200. A follow-up search of his printing operation by the special detective unit uncovered over €2m in fake banknotes and the equipment for their production.
Molloy, of Preston Heights, Kilmeague, Naas, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of equipment for the production of counterfeit notes at Barstown Commercial Park, Dunboyne, Co Meath, on February 2, 2014.
Judge Patricia Ryan remanded him on continuing bail for sentencing on November 7, 2015.
The court heard Molloy started counterfeiting after the economic downturn impacted his printing business. Gardaí accepted he “worked with the IRA” but “had no direct involvement with the organisation”.
Detective Superintendent Peter Maguire told Colm Ó Briain, prosecuting, that the Special Detective Unit were conducting an intelligence lead operation against the IRA last year and were monitoring two men as they drove to Clarke’s Pub in Phibsboro, Dublin.
Molloy was originally charged with membership of an illegal organisation before being recharged with assisting an illegal organisation. He eventually pleaded guilty to possession of counterfeiting tools.
Maguire ran a printing business from the unit which allowed him to build up the expertise and equipment to counterfeit the notes.
David Staunton, defending, said Molloy has a child and a partner who is very ill. He said he has a drink problem and has “made some very poor decisions in life”. Counsel asked Judge Ryan to consider the pressure Molloy was under at the time.
He asked the judge to consider a non-custodial sentence.
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