Large sums of money were made available to murder people and those involved in the Kinahan organised crime group were paid €20,000 for "setting people up for a hit", the Special Criminal Court was told today.
The non-jury court also heard that audio surveillance of a conversation between a woman and one of the suspects involved in a plot to murder Patrick 'Patsy' Hutch picked up references to "they have so much money, they could buy half the Hutch lads" and "they're getting €20,000 and all for setting somebody up, used to get that for doing the hit".
During today's sentence hearing for Michael Burns, Ciaran O'Driscoll and Stephen Curtis, evidence was given that gardaí recovered a written record of the gang's financial expenditure from a suspect's address, which gave a breakdown of the expenses and payments of the operation to murder Mr Hutch, the older brother of the leader of the rival Hutch organised crime group.
Evidence was given that the "starting balance" was €7,000 and "logistical costs" came to in excess of €10,000, the court heard.
In a related sentence hearing, Mr Justice Tony Hunt accepted garda evidence that the Kinahan criminal organisation is an organised crime gang involved in "execution-type murders" to protect its core activities, which include organised drugs and firearms offences on "an international scale".
The court further accepted that the crime gang operated "an organised hierarchical structure" with "cells and sub-cells" to "segregate activities and limit knowledge" among gang members.
The gang also operated on directions from superiors within this hierarchy.
Michael Burns, 43, of no fixed abode, Ciaran O'Driscoll, 24, of Avondale House, Cumberland Street, Dublin 1 and Stephen Curtis, 32, of Bellman's Walk, Seville Place, Dublin 1 have admitted to having knowledge of the existence of a criminal organisation and participating in activities intended to facilitate the commission of a serious offence by that criminal organisation, or any of its members, namely the murder of Mr Hutch within the State between February 1 and March 10, 2018, both dates inclusive.
Burns has pleaded guilty to passing instructions to one or more members of a criminal organisation and of acting as a conduit for communications by providing phones.
He has also admitted transporting one or more members of a criminal organisation, moving one or more vehicles for subsequent use by one or more members of a criminal organisation and planning or assisting in planning the intended shooting of Mr Hutch.
O'Driscoll has pleaded guilty to agreeing to act as a look-out in and to helping plan the intended shooting.
Curtis has admitted providing, or assisting in providing, one or more mobile phones for use by the criminal organisation and purchasing or assisting in the purchase of one or more mobile phones, sim cards and credit top-ups.
The activities also include passing on the phone number of the "looker" (or look-out) - O'Driscoll - to a member of the criminal organisation and planning or assisting in planning the intended shooting of Mr Hutch.