Eight years in jail for man at 'centre of wheel' in Kinahan cartel murder plot

Liam Brannigan had a "central role" in the management and oversight of the plan to kill Gary Hanley, the judge said.
Eight years in jail for man at 'centre of wheel' in Kinahan cartel murder plot

A 37-year-old man who conspired with Kinahan cartel murder plotters to assassinate Dublin man Gary Hanley has been jailed by the Special Criminal Court for eight years.

Sentencing Liam Brannigan at the non-jury court today, Mr Justice Paul Coffey said the planning and organisation of the execution meant that the defendant was culpable to a very high degree and had a "central role" in the management and oversight of the plan to kill Mr Hanley.

The judge said the conspiracy was at all times carried out with "a staunch and unyielding determination" to carry out a "gangland-style execution type of murder".

The plan was elaborate and lengthy and Brannigan had been "intimately involved" in all aspects of the planning, he said.

Referring to the father-of-two, the judge said he had 10 phone calls with the hit team on the evening of the planned murder.

Brannigan was sentenced to eight years imprisonment with the final six months suspended, backdated to November 6, 2017 when he went into custody.

Brannigan of Bride Street, Dublin 8, was convicted by the non-jury court in February of conspiring to murder Mr Hanley at a location within the State between September 15 and November 6, 2017. He had denied the charge.

Covert audio recordings from cars bugged by gardaí

Brannigan is the fifth man to be jailed for his role in conspiracy to murder Mr Hanley. Luke Wilson (24), from Cremona Road in Ballyfermot, Dublin; Alan Wilson (39) of New Street Gardens, Dublin 8; Joseph Kelly (35) of Kilworth Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12; and Dean Howe (34) with an address at Oakfield, Dublin 8, all previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder Mr Hanley.

Luke Wilson, who also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a Beretta, was jailed for 11 years; Alan Wilson was given six years; Joseph Kelly, who also admitted a weapons charge, was jailed for 12 years and Dean Howe who supervised those lower down the chain of command was jailed for six years.

Delivering judgment on February 3 at the Special Criminal Court following a nine-week trial which ended on December 3 last year, Brannigan was found guilty of being at the "centre of the wheel" of the Kinahan Cartel plot to gun down Mr Hanley. Mr Justice Coffey said the evidence against Brannigan came from four areas, including covert audio recordings from several cars bugged by gardai.

Armed gardai intercepted a Volkswagen caddy van just 500 yards from Mr Hanley’s home on the night of November 6th, 2017, when two men, Joseph Kelly and Luke Wilson, were found with a loaded semi-automatic pistol.

The evidence also included phone data extracted from the co-conspirators' phones and the “interconnectivity” of these phones; sightings of the men by gardai; and a montage of CCTV footage showing their movements, he said.

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