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Mr Nobody

Ex-Kinahan cartel member further jailed for nine years for role in 'depraved' murder of Noel Kirwan

The judge said Declan ‘Mr Nobody’ Brady was “a trusted operative” in the Kinahan organisation at the time of Kirwan’s murder.

ONE-TIME SENIOR Kinahan cartel member Declan ‘Mr Nobody’ Brady has been further sentenced to a nine-year prison term for facilitating the “depraved” murder of Christopher (aka Noel) Kirwan, an innocent man who was shot dead after he was pictured attending the funeral of a Hutch family member, despite having no connection to either side in the notorious gangland feud.

At the Special Criminal Court today, Mr Justice Tony Hunt said Brady was involved in attaching a tracker device to Kirwan’s car, which assisted the Kinahan crime organisation in carrying out the “callous” murder in December 2016.

Mr Justice Hunt said that Kirwan was murdered by the crime gang outside his home on 22 December 2016, while sitting in his car after he had been photographed in newspapers attending the funeral of his neighbour, Eddie Hutch, a brother of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch.

Kirwan’s partner Bernadette Roe was in the passenger seat of the car but was not injured in the shooting.

In previous cases, the non-jury court heard that most of the local community had attended the funeral and if Kirwan had “taken two steps forward”, he would not have appeared in the photograph.

Mr Justice Hunt said Eddie Hutch was a “long-standing” friend of the deceased and that the murder represented the “depravity presented by all members of that [Kinahan] organisation”.

Mr Justice Hunt said Kirwan had been killed in a “pre-planned, execution-style murder that was not spontaneous” and that the “Kinahan criminal organisation was at the top of a broad range of crimes”.

Brady “must have known the nature and extent” of the group, which Mr Justice Hunt said was an aggravating factor in sentencing. The judge noted that Brady had concerns regarding recriminations should he expressly disassociate himself from the Kinahan crime gang.

In April, Brady’s counsel told the court that his client had a “very, very significant change of heart in his attitude to the commission of offences”.

He said Brady had considered giving sworn testimony of his intention to cut his ties with criminality but harboured concerns that if he were to do so, he might be the subject of recriminations.

Mr Justice Hunt said the plan to murder Kirwan was “flexible and capable of responding to changing circumstances” – with the gang having initially attached the tracker to a car Kirwan traded-in before they switched it to the newer vehicle.

The gang had a “considered and determined response” in murdering Kirwan for the “sole apparent reason that he [Mr Kirwan] was simply photographed at a funeral”.

Mr Justice Hunt said Brady was “well above the level of a footsoldier” in the Kinahan organisation and that “at the time, he was a trusted operative” with a “considerable amount of insight of the organisation he chose to serve”.

The judge said that consequences of Brady’s actions “could hardly have been more serious” and that Brady must have known it was for a serious purpose, “considering the state of play of the [Hutch-Kinahan] feud”.

The killing had tragic consequences for the Kirwan family, whose pain and trauma continues to this day, said Mr Justice Hunt.

Mr Justice Hunt said the murder of Kirwan was “just another appalling facet of the Kinahan organised crime group”.

Mr Justice Hunt fixed 13 years’ imprisonment as a pre-mitigation headline sentence before discounting three years for Brady’s guilty plea. Mr Justice Hunt noted that Brady had previous convictions for firearms and money-laundering offences relating to the Kinahans.

The judge said it had been submitted that Brady had had a “significant change of heart and attitude” towards the Kinahan group while in custody and was on the road to rehabilitation.

Mr Justice Hunt said the court would suspend the last year of the 10 years in the interests of rehabilitation but that this was conditional on Brady’s dissociation with the Kinahans.

Mr Justice Hunt offered his condolences to the Kirwan family, complimented the gardaí on their investigation and thanked members of the public for their assistance.

At a sitting of the three-judge court in January, Brady pleaded guilty to the single charge against him.

Brady (56) was charged that between 20 October 2016 and 22 December 2016, within the State and with knowledge of the existence of a criminal organisation did participate in, or contribute by activity, or by being reckless as to whether such participation or contribution could facilitate the commission by a criminal organisation or any of its members of a serious offence, to wit: the murder of Christopher (aka Noel) Kirwan, contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal justice Act.

Brady, of Wolstan Abbey, Celbridge, Co Kildare pleaded guilty at the Special Criminal Court in July 2019 to supervising a firearms arsenal including an assault rifle and thousands of rounds of ammunition that had been stashed in a Dublin business park. He was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in prison with the final year suspended for that offence.

While in prison in 2021, Brady pleaded guilty to laundering more than €400,000 in crime cash through multiple bank accounts in 2017.

He was sentenced to eight years and three months, with the final year suspended, to run from 23 April 2021 when Brady first entered his plea.

Today’s sentence will run concurrent to these terms and was backdated to April 30 last.

Kirwan (62) was shot six times as he sat in his car on 22 December 2016 at St Ronan’s Drive, Clondalkin, Dublin 22.

Last month, a “trustworthy” gym-owner who helped the cartel by buying phone credit for a leading member of the gang was jailed for two years.

Michael Crotty (42), of Slí Aonghusa, Aras na Rí, Cashel, Co Tipperary, admitted that in buying a €20 top-up for Sean McGovern he was reckless as to whether it would be used by the Kinahan criminal organisation in the commission of a serious offence.

The court has heard that the phone which was topped up using the payment made by Crotty was used to coordinate the murder.

In 2022, a “trusted enabler” of the cartel was jailed for over eight years for his role in the murder of Kirwan and the attempted murder of an associate of the Hutch gang, in what gardaí said was a “significant” blow to a “violent criminal organisation operating a campaign of murder and violence”.

Martin Aylmer (then 35) of Casino Park, Marino, Dublin 3, made the “schoolboy error” of using his own name and car when he imported tracking devices that the cartel used.

Aylmer was sentenced to ten years and four months with the final two years suspended after pleading guilty to participating in or contributing to the murder of father-of-four Kirwan.

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