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Man (37) who had 'central role' in Kinahan cartel murder plot jailed for eight years

Liam Brannigan was “intimately involved” in all aspects of the planning to murder Gary Hanley, the court heard.

Image: Shutterstock/Derick Hudson

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 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 ten 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 6 November 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 Hanley at a location within the State between 15 September and 6 November 2017. He had denied the charge.

Brannigan is the fifth man to be jailed for his role in conspiracy to murder 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 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 3 February at the Special Criminal Court following a nine-week trial which ended on 3 December last year, Brannigan was found guilty of being at the “centre of the wheel” of the Kinahan Cartel plot to gun down Hanley.

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Mr Justice Coffey said the evidence against Brannigan came from four areas, including covert audio recordings from several cars bugged by gardaí.

Armed gardaí intercepted a Volkswagen caddy van just 500 yards from Hanley’s home on the night of 6 November 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 gardaí; and a montage of CCTV footage showing their movements, he said.

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Alison O'Riordan

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