NewsInvestigations

PICS: Ireland's first family of crime still flaunt wealth as cops close in

InvestigationsBy Nicola Tallant
Liam Byrne
Liam Byrne

A HACIENDA style home being built just doors away from Liam Byrne’s family fortress has been investigated by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

The Byrnes – Ireland’s ‘first family of crime’ – face losing their houses on Crumlin’s Raleigh Square as part of a major CAB crackdown.  

Among the properties targeted are Liam Byrne’s monstrous home, with a massive extension built to house the trappings of wealth, such as a jacuzzi and a panic room.

 

However,  the Sunday World has learned that Gardaí are also probing an almost identical home, which is being extended in the same style just a few doors away. It was raided by CAB last year as part of their investigation into the Byrnes. 

The house was sold in 2015, but the new owner has yet to place their name on the Land registry file.

Aerial pictures show how an identical extension to the one latched on to Liam Byrne’s nearby house is currently being constructed.

It is understood CAB has prepared cases to seize the homes of Liam Byrne, his father James ‘Jaws’ Byrne and business partner Sean McGovern, among others. McGovern lives on nearby Windmill Park with partner Anita Freeman.

Freeman was one of a number of Kinahan Cartel WAGs named this week in court as CAB targets. Others include Liam Byrne’s partner Simoan McEnroe, his mother Sadie Byrne and his late brother David’s partner, Kelly Quinn.

Sources say that the Byrne women are living in denial that their lavish lifestyles will soon come to an end, thanks to a massive investigation by the Garda’s top units, including Drugs and Organised Crime, the Special Task Force, Crime and Security and the CAB.

Days before CAB launched a €2.5 million case against the family and their associates – in which they also sought to sell off cars, jewellery and cash seized during recent raids – the gangsters’ molls partied with champagne to mark the birthday of a teenage associate.

They mob regularly show off Rolex watches and expensive designer runners on Facebook. 
 

Simoan McEnroe & Anita Freeman 

The younger women, who CAB believe have lived off the proceeds of drug money for years, dressed to thrill for the bash and watched on as the teenage boy was entertained by a stripper.

A multi-unit assault on the Byrne family has been underway since Liam was declared an ‘Enemy of the State’ and named as the Garda’s top target in a €100m clampdown on organised crime.

However, even as Liam Byrne faces eviction, an almost identical home is being constructed within sight at No. 6 Raleigh Square.

Gardaí believe that Liam’s pal, U.K. thug Maurice Sines – a self-professed Gypsy King who once locked horns with Elton John – showed an interest in the property when it went on sale.

The house sold for cash in late 2015 – just months before the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel. Its new owner has yet to be listed on the Land Registry. Our aerial photos show building work is underway, despite no planning application being lodged with  Dublin City Council. The building project is a replica of Liam and Simoan’s flash pad, which was raided last March by officers from the CAB.

It was also built without planning two years ago and was extended to such an extent that no garden remains on the property.

Down the road, James ‘Jaws’ Byrne’s home is also under the microscope of the CAB. Despite the fact that it was bought for cash more than two decades ago, the innocent original owner remains on Land Registry documents.

However, Jaws did apply for planning permission in both 1999 and 2004 to build a property at the back of the house, listing himself as owner occupier of 18 Raleigh Square. 

His daughter Maria Byrne lives at the small bungalow that was subsequently built. She is also listed as the owner of brother Liam’s property at No. 2.

It is understood that despite the complexities of ownership of the properties, CAB are set to spare no expense in fighting the Byrnes all the way for possession of the houses, which they believe were bought and renovated on the proceeds of crime.

The Byrnes rocketed up the ladder of the Kinahan Cartel in the past 10 years, becoming their top lieutenants in Ireland. 

It is understood Liam’s sister, Joanne Byrne, and her husband Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh, who are based in the U.K., are also under investigation.

While the Byrnes have been under investigation by CAB for years, it is understood the probe was given priority after the crass display of wealth at the funeral of murdered David.

An army of mourners were decked out in matching Mafia-style suits, while a €20,000 blue casket held Byrne’s remains as pipers, horse drawn carriages and lines of limos followed him to his final resting place.

“The State is literally throwing everything they have at this,” a source said. 

“John Gilligan may have kept up his fight for more than 20 years but look at him now – he is begging for a council house. The Byrnes will be in the same position when the Gardaí are finished with them. They are going after everything they have. And the women, who have benefited from their money are top targets too.”