NewsCrime Desk

Convicted armed robber organising gym sessions for under-threat gangland figures

Gerard Claxton
Gerard Claxton

MEET the convicted armed robber who is putting on private training sessions in his city centre gym for under-threat gangland figures.

Gerard Claxton (41), helps run the Active8 gym at Rosemount Business Park in Ballycoolin, north Dublin, and claims to be “passionate” about health and fitness.

However, Claxton has recently come to the attention of Gardaí because of unhealthy links to senior gangland figures.

He has been stopped by officers on a number of occasions driving different cars owned by LS Active Cars – a now dissolved company run by senior cartel member Liam Byrne.

Liam Byrne

Gardaí seized dozens of vehicles belonging to the firm in March this year as part of their investigation into the Kinahan Cartel.

However, a source claimed Gardaí are now focussing on links between some of Claxton’s gym-loving associates and the Kinahan mob. 

Officers are now investigating if Claxton’s associates are supplying firearms to the cartel. 

A source has told the Sunday World that Gardaí believe Claxton, who hails from Blanchardstown, has also been hosting ‘private’ gym sessions for gangland criminals – some of whom have been warned their lives are under threat.

The mobsters – including Wayne Bradley – are allowed train at certain hours when ordinary members of the public are not allowed into the gym.

Claxton got involved in the gym shortly after his release from prison and now describes himself as a fitness instructor. He runs the gym with his brother, who has no involvement in crime of any type.

Claxton was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2007 for an attempted armed robbery on a bookmaker who was returning from Fairyhouse Racecourse on the day of the Irish Grand National the previous year.

Gardaí had received a tip-off that Claxton and four other men were planning to hold up John Carty of Chronicle Bookmakers as he returned from the track with his takings on April 17, 2006.

Detective Garda Donal Tully got into the back of Carty’s jeep while he was driving from the racecourse.

The car was followed by Eddie Farrell – a member of the armed robbery gang – back to Mr Carty’s office on Deansgrange Road.

At the same time other officers were watching Claxton and three other men who were driving a stolen Mercedes car around Foxrock, before heading to Deansgrange Road, when Mr Carty returned with the takings.

Claxton ran up to Mr Carty armed with a handgun, along with two other men, and shouted at him to hand over the money.

At this point Garda Tully, who was armed, got out of the jeep and told the raiders to put down their weapons.  Claxton refused to drop his weapon, which he continued to point at Mr Carty. However, the brave officer tackled the gunman to the ground.

Fellow officers arrested the other gang members, including well-known criminal Anthony ‘the Giant’ Callaghan. The gang were sentenced to eight years each, but some of those sentenced were later reduced to six years. 

CAB secured a €1.3m judgement against Callaghan in 2009. Last March, Callaghan and gangland hitman Paul Zambra were jailed for 12 and 10 years respectively after gardaí foiled a hit attempted on Dean Russell in Clonshaugh in north Dublin.

Paul Zambra

Gardaí set up a surveillance operation on the pair and moved in on them near Russell’s home. They found two handguns which were ready for use along with a scarf, newspapers and a five-litre container with petrol.

Callaghan is not the only major criminal with links to Claxton.

Other associates include Finglas criminals Alan and Wayne Bradley, who have been spotted in his gym.

Wayne and Alan Bradley

He also had close links to former Westies Andrew ‘Madser’ Glennon and his brother Mark, who were shot dead after a feud in 2005.

Another associate of Claxton was one of three men linked to a sex attack on a woman in west Dublin while Claxton was in prison. While Claxton’s pal was not directly involved in the sex attack, he fled the country after being assaulted by another man over the attack.

However, he returned to Ireland shortly after Claxton’s release from prison.

Another man closely linked to Claxton is known to Gardaí for smuggling Viagra tablets back to Ireland from Thailand.