Court challenge | 

CAB call to take free legal aid off drug dealer David Waldron

Pal of 'The Don' spent €1.6m on Wexford mansion and claims he purchased first house with dole money

The Criminal Assets Bureau is fighting the free legal aid given to David Waldron

Alan Sherry

The Criminal Assets Bureau is fighting a decision to grant free legal aid to a drug dealer they say spent nearly €3 million of unexplained cash.

Cabra criminal David Waldron is facing CAB cases over properties in Dublin, Kildare and Wexford, including a luxury mansion.

Earlier this year, Waldron and his wife Charlene were told the taxpayer would fund the bill for their legal team to fight the CAB case.

But this week CAB appealed that decision in the Court of Criminal Appeal presided over by Ms Justice Whelan, Ms Justice Costello and Mr Justice Collins.

Waldron did not appear in court which was held remotely, with the lawyers and judges appearing via video links.

Grainne O'Neill, SC, for CAB, said it was the Bureau's belief that the three properties were purchased with the proceeds of crime and Waldron has failed to adequately explain a credible alternative source for the money.

Officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau raided Waldron’s Wexford home in 2017.

John Noonan, BL, for the Waldrons said they face massive consequences if they lose the CAB case.

"The respondents risk losing their family home and two rental properties. It will have lifelong consequences for them," he said.

He said while the CAB case is a civil one, the allegations levelled against David Waldron are that he is engaged in criminal activity which, if proven, could have "significant reputational consequences".

After hearing arguments for both sides this week, Mr Justice Collins said: "It appears to me it's appropriate we take time to consider [the arguments]. The court will reserve its determination and the parties will be reverted to in due course."

The judges will now consider the matter before delivering judgement next year.

Waldron and his brother Christopher - 'Git' - were close associates of infamous gang boss Eamon 'The Don' Dunne, along with brothers Wayne and Alan 'Fatpuss' Bradley. Christopher is also subject to a proceeds-of-crime case being taken by CAB.

Waldron’s brother Christopher (pictured) is also being pursued by CAB

David Waldron has nine convictions for offences including drug dealing.

He had purchased a property in Glenties Park, Finglas, in September 2001 and then invested in a second property in River Forest, Leixlip, Co. Kildare, before building a mansion 'Darview' in Co. Wexford for €1.6 million. The Darview build involved six different cash transfers using four different people.

The 3,000 sq ft mansion in Wexford has its own bar, with a pool table as well as a gym, and views looking out over valleys in the Wexford countryside.

The court heard planning permission to build the house was sought by a man named David Byrne in 2015.

Waldron's wife Charlene, who has no involvement in crime, successfully applied to be seen as a partial owner of Darview, and said she had paid for her share through legitimate means.

The Leixlip property had €315,000 in renovations carried out to it while another property in Cabra saw €633,000 spent on it, according to CAB.

Ms O'Neill said Waldron claimed he got the money to buy the first home through dole money and working. He claimed to have been employed as a plasterer, an electric worker, a security guard and also worked with his father.

He also said Waldron used money earned from subletting a yard on Prussia Street in Dublin.

During a previous hearing, it emerged that CAB officers followed the financial trail back decades to show Waldron never had enough cash to pay for his properties.

Waldron, who had spent a number of years in prison or on social welfare, would have had to save most of his €18,000 dole money in 2001 to have the savings he claimed to use to buy his first house.

CAB suspects Waldron is still earning money from criminality, the court heard.

Ms O'Neill told the court a CAB forensic accountant found that the Waldrons had received €312,597 in rental income from their properties but only lodged €81,869 into a bank account.

The court also heard how Waldron had sworn in affidavits he had just one bank account when CAB say they had identified several.

Mr Noonan said his client had closed down other accounts or had no balance in them.

David Waldron, through his lawyers, denied the CAB claims that his money came from drugs and said that his income came through legal means.

His lawyers also said that his current income from rental properties and Charlene's business is not enough to pay for a legal defence of his case against CAB.

Waldron and his wife had sworn affidavits about their current income but these were disputed by CAB officers.

CAB is also going after Waldron's brother Christopher, seeking to take two watches worth €20,000 from him as well as houses in Cabra and Finglas.

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