NewsCrime Desk

Meet ‘deals on wheels’ Ireland’s drug smuggling granny

Crime DeskBy Eamon Dillon
Mary Casey
Mary Casey

A DEVOTED granny escaped jail after being caught red-handed trying to smuggle heroin to her son in prison.

Mary Casey (76), turned up in court this week on a mobility scooter after being told last week she faced being arrested if she failed to appear.

The grandmother had admitted in court through her solicitor to bringing €1,750 worth of heroin to the Midlands Prison in Co. Laois.

Mary comes from a very well-known family in Limerick and she is not the first member of the family to come before the courts.

At the time, her son Eddie (54), a convicted sex beast with dozens of convictions, had been serving time for a bizarre motor rampage through the streets of Ennis.

Two of her grandsons, Nathan Killeen and Stephen O’Sullivan are also serving time for killings connected to Limerick city’s lethal gangland feud.

Another of her sons, Ray Casey, died from a heart attack in 2009 in the high-security Portlaoise Prison, where he too had been serving life for murder.

It was heard in court that Mrs Casey had been handed a package containing a brown substance just before she had been due to visit the Midlands Prison.

Her defence lawyer said that the botched smuggling attempt was “not something she volunteered for”.

However, the trial judge said: “I don’t accept that.”

He said it had been “a decision on her part” to smuggle the heroin and she was now using her illness to avoid going to prison herself.

“Don’t be shaking your head,” the judge scolded the Limerick pensioner.

“This was a deliberate attempt to smuggle heroin into a prison,” he said.

She was given a six-month sentence suspended for two years.

The Sunday World can reveal that her son Eddie had been in the Midlands Prison at the time serving an 18-month sentence for crashing into six cars while being chased by
Gardaí.

During the rampage he hit a vehicle being driven by a woman who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant.

He also sent pavement diners at a restaurant scattering for cover when he collided with three cars on the street.

Casey had 89 previous convictions, including eight for dangerous driving and eight for drunk-driving and had been given lengthy driving bans in the past.

He had previously been jailed for 11 years in 2006 for aggravated sexual assault and assault causing harm to a female Galway student in September 2004.

His victim, aged 23, was walking through the Lough Atalia area of the city when Casey dragged her into a grassy bank and sexually assaulted her.

She told the Central Criminal Court her life “was ripped in shreds by the hand of a stranger”.

Casey was caught after a DNA match had been made and later convicted of the attack, which he carried out while on temporary release from prison

Eddie’s son Stephen O’Sullivan is serving his 15-year-sentence in the same prison where Mary Casey was caught with the drugs last year.

O’Sullivan had pleaded guilty to manslaughter after innocent man Mark Moloney was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in 2008.

His co-accomplice and getaway driver James Cronin (20), was shot dead and buried in a shallow grave less than 48 hours after the killing.

Another grandson of Mary Casey’s, Nathan Killeen, is serving a life sentence for the murder of businessman Roy Collins in April 2009.

The 35-year-old was shot dead because his family had previously given evidence against Wayne Dundon, which led to him getting a 10-year sentence for threatening to kill a young barman.

Both killings were ordered by the Dundon-McCarthy gang.

Mary’s son Ray Casey earned a reputation as Limerick’s most violent man as a street fighter in the 1990s.

He was jailed for life for a brutal and senseless killing of a terminally-ill barman in the city.

In August 1997 he attacked a frail pub worker for €150, who was no match for the terrifying street thug.

A self-styled martial artist, Casey spent four years on bail while awaiting trial and prided himself on being able to play the system to his advantage.

He tried to deny the killing despite leaving a palm print on blood splashes on a wall as he steadied himself while kicking his victim to death.

During the trial into the shocking killing, evidence was heard in which Casey was described by a senior Garda as being “the most violent man in Limerick”.