NewsCrime Desk

Gangsters' molls love to flash their other halves' cash

Simoan McEnroe and Liam Byrne
Simoan McEnroe and Liam Byrne

AT €1,000 per night, a family room at the Moon Palace in Cancun might be out of reach for most, but not for the Byrne family of Raleigh Square.

As a treat to the hard-worked ladies of the first family of Irish crime, the luxury resort was the destination of choice for a Christmas getaway.

Nothing is too much for the likes of Simoan McEnroe, partner of Liam Byrne, and his sister Joanne Byrne, whose husband is Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh, and when the extended Byrne clan decided they wanted a spectacular destination to flash some of their hard-earned drug cash they couldn’t have picked more exclusive place.

Simoan McEnroe and Liam Byrne

The Moon Palace is described as Mexico’s premier playground for the rich and famous.

Surrounded by tropical greenery, it is a paradise of bars, restaurants and spa treatment areas.

But holidaying in plush resorts is nothing out of the ordinary for gangsters’ molls, who expect nothing less than five-star service all the way.

When Joanne Byrne turned 40 three years ago, she treated 25 of her ‘gal-pals’ to a firstclass trip to Vegas, where they stayed at the Wynn Hotel and dined in some of the finest restaurants the gambling paradise has to offer.


Joanne Byrne and Thomas Bomber Kavanagh

Gangster’s moll Ciara Mahony was one of the many Wags whose desination of choice was Dubai.

She once enjoyed a life most could only dream of, with regular trips to the gilded fivestar Atlantis, The Palm hotel.


Ciara Mahony in Dubai

There, she shared snaps on Facebook with her pals back home as she sipped cocktails and relaxed on the beach with her gym-toned body and designer bikinis.

Late last year, the wife of Kinahan Cartel player Brian Mahony made a desperate plea to the High Court to stop CAB from selling her property.

Ciara and Brian Mahony

Complete with bullet-proof windows and doors, a top-of-the range security system with CCTV cameras, giant plasma-screen TVs and a high-end kitchen, the house in Coolock on Dublin’s northside had been her pride and joy.

In court, she argued that she had paid the mortgage and paid towards the general upkeep of the house.

CAB said the house, listed along with two other assets in 2014, were bought with the proceeds of crime and the action was brought after Mahony failed to satisfy a judgment obtained against him a year previous by Revenue for €1.25 million.

During her failed bid to keep the house, Ciara said she is now separated from her husband and told the court she would be “devastated” if she and her children lost “the roof over our heads”.

She said she was working shifts in a newsagent’s to try to pay the mortgage.

But the courts didn’t accept her evidence and told her she had to be out of the house by this July.

Ciara, like fellow gangsters’ molls, loves to keep up appearances and spent a fortune on hair extensions, gel nails and cosmetic procedures to look her best.

Long, flowing locks are just one of the musthaves for Wags and can cost anything up to €1,000 every six months plus regular maintenance.

Gel nails, which need to be replaced every three weeks, are €60, while fake tan sprays are almost €50 a week.

Pedicures at €80 are also regular treatments for the ladies of gangland who pay up to €50 every night they go out for a make-up artist.

Competition is fierce for a place at the top table in drug and criminal gangs and sometimes hanging onto their man comes at an even bigger price.

Tracey Brady – whose husband Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh was shot dead in a Spanish bar – lived the high life for years in the showjumping circuit, where her daughter was an avid competitor.


Tracy Brady and Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh

As she struggled to hold onto her looks, Tracey turned to plastic surgery procedures and had regular Botox treatments and fillers.

Since his murder, Tracey has turned her own passion in life into a small business enterprise in Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol, where she runs a little beauty salon. Like many, Tracey and Hatchet lavished luxuries on their children that few could afford.

With their money, they got top-notch boxing training for son Jamie Kavanagh, who went on to fight for the Kinahan Cartel-backed MGM gym.

Her daughter was given the best that money could buy when it came to her favourite hobby of showjumping.


Tracey Brady loves showjumping

Many gangsters’ molls know and accept that they have to share their man. Like many other criminal structures around the world, it is part of the macho scene that there can be three or four women living off the funds of one man.

Notable womanisers have included Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne, who had a penchant for bedding rivals’ women, and former Real IRA boss Alan Ryan, who was a virtual Casanova of the underworld.


Alan Ryan

In a recent interview Joey ‘The Lips’ O’Brien, a former Kinahan Cartel soldier, explained how many girls just want to be with the bad guys.

“While the gambling did it for me, for others it might have been the coke. With others it was the women. Girls just want to be with the guys that are making the money, don’t they?

“They have a bloke that will hand them 500 quid for a night out and pay for holidays and things for them and they are happy.

There is no doubt but some girls seek out those lads. And some will accept that there might be two or three women on the go.

Once they get looked after, that is all that matters.

Men don’t analyse these things.

When women are throwing themselves at them, they just take it.”