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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
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Court of Appeal rejects application by Brian Rattigan to have drug dealing conviction quashed

The 37 year-old is the first person to be found guilty of charges connected to drug dealing while in prison.

BRIAN RATTIGAN WILL remain in jail after the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against his conviction for directing the supply of drugs from prison.

Rattigan, 37, formerly of Cooley Road, in Drimnagh, had pleaded not guilty at the non-jury Special Criminal Court to possession of heroin and two counts of possession of the drug for sale or supply on Hughes Road South, Walkinstown, Dublin 12 on 21 May, 2008.

The three-judge Special Criminal Court agreed with the prosecution case that Rattigan was the director of a drugs gang conducting a €1 million euro heroin deal.

He became the first drug dealer to be found guilty of charges connected to directing the supply of drugs while in prison.

During the trial he was cleared of two counts relating to the possession of two mobile phones at Cell 42, E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison while an inmate at the prison on 22 May, 2008, which he had also denied.

Sentencing Rattigan to 17 years in prison, Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding, said the Special Criminal Court had regard to the “very frightening” evidence of drugs expert Detective Sergeant Brian Roberts, who told the court of the effect heroin had on society as well as the “alarming” 3,972 drug-related deaths in Ireland between 2004 and 2010.

The sentence, imposed on March 20, 2013 and backdated to June 2008, was directed to run in tandem with a life sentence he was then serving for the murder of 21-year-old Declan Gavin outside an Abrakebabra fast-food restaurant in Crumlin in 2001.

However, in December last year, the Supreme Court quashed Rattigan’s conviction for the murder of Gavin over closing remarks made by the trial judge to the jury which, a majority of the Supreme Court found, had gone further than was desirable.

Rattigan moved to appeal his drugs conviction in July on eight grounds relating to search warrants, as well as findings made by the Special Criminal Court in respect of the value and purity of drugs. 

Rejecting all grounds of appeal today, Mr Justice John Edwards said the three-judge court was satisfied that Rattigan’s trial was satisfactory, and his conviction safe.

Ruaidhrí Giblin
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