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tracking device Dublin man accused in Kinahan cartel plot to murder James 'Mago' Gately changes plea week into trial

Douglas Glynn admitted to placing a tracking device on Gately's car in Belfast in 2017

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Douglas Glynn

Douglas Glynn

Douglas Glynn

A Dublin man has changed his plea to guilty just over a week after he went on trial accused of being involved in a Kinahan Cartel plot to murder rival Hutch gang member James 'Mago' Gately.

At the Special Criminal Criminal Court today Douglas Glynn admitted to placing a tracker device on Gately's car in Belfast in 2017 as part of the foiled murder plot.

Gately had been warned by gardaí of a threat to his life from criminals who believed him to be involved in the Regency Hotel murder of Kinahan Cartel associate David Byrne in February 2016.

The court has heard in previous related cases that there was “ongoing targeting” of Gately in the context of a feud between the Hutch and Kinahan crime groups. Estonian hitman Imre Arakas was brought to Ireland in 2017 to carry out the murder of Gately before he was apprehended by gardaí.

Detective Sergeant David Carolan had told the Special Criminal Court he was aware that Gately was involved "in a feud with the Kinahan organised crime group" and that Gately "had a wider association with the Hutch organised crime group". He said that Gately was "being targeted by the Kinahan organised crime group at the time".

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Mago Gately

Mago Gately

Mago Gately

Glynn (37) of Fitzgibbon Court, Dublin 1, today was re-arraigned and pleaded "guilty" to participating in activities of a criminal organisation, contrary to Section 72 (1) (A) of the Criminal Justice Act. When first arraigned at the three-judge court on November 9, Glynn had pleaded not guilty.

The specifics of the charge were that on dates between December 7, 2016, and April 6, 2017, inclusive, both within and outside the State and with knowledge of a criminal organisation and with the intent of enhancing the ability of the said criminal organisation or any of its members to commit a serious offence, namely the murder of James Gately, he did participate in or contribute to activities connected with the said offence.

In his opening speech, Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, said that the evidence in the case against Glynn was of a "circumstantial" nature involving CCTV, photograph, mobile phone, tracking device, fingerprint and Garda observation evidence.

Mr McGinn said that gardaí would tell the court that they were aware of a plot around the time of April 2017 but that they did not have precise knowledge of the target until the arrival of Arakas in Dublin on April 3, 2017.

Counsel said that gardaí were aware of Arakas' arrival in Dublin off a flight from Alicante in Spain and tracked his movements. The barrister said that Arakas walked around Dublin city centre before being collected by a van and taken to Blakestown Cottages, Clonsilla, Dublin 15.

Gardaí obtained a search warrant for the Blakestown premises and found Arakas and Stephen Fowler (62) present, said counsel. When gardaí executed the warrant at Blakestown on April 4, 2017, they found Arakas next to a note written in Estonian but with the words 'James Gately, Dublin criminal' written in English.

Mr McGinn said that a tracker device had already been found in a van driven by another male when he was stopped by gardaí on February 28, 2017, and that evidence regarding trackers would "feature largely" in the case.

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Mr McGinn had said that it would be the State's case that gardaí contacted the PSNI about the plot and that a tracker device was found on Gately's Toyota Avensis.

The barrister had said that CCTV would show Glynn place the device on Gately's car, which was parked in his Belfast apartment complex, before he and two other occupants of a Peugeot van drove back to Dublin. Counsel said that evidence would show that five Blackberry devices were seized from Glynn's Ashtown residence. Mr McGinn said that an inference could be drawn that one of the users of the Blackberry devices was involved in "ongoing" criminal activity.

Today, presiding judge Mr Justice Tony Hunt adjourned the case to January 14, 2022, for a sentence hearing. The trial had been expected to last three weeks. There was no objection to Glynn continuing on bail.

Glynn is the fifth man to be found guilty in cases relating to the failed bid to murder Gately in Belfast.

In September, Peter Keating (40) of Rowlagh Green, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 was jailed for 11 years after he pleaded guilty in late June to directing the activities of a criminal organisation between December 7, 2016, and April 6, 2017, within and outside the State relating to the targeting of Gately.

Stephen Fowler (62), of Blakestown Cottages in Clonsilla, Dublin 15 and David Duffy (33) of Greenfort Lawns, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 have already been jailed for providing logistical support to the plot to murder Gately.

Estonian hitman Imre Arakas (63) was jailed by the Special Criminal Court for six years in December 2018, after he admitted to conspiring with others to murder Gately in Northern Ireland between April 3 and 4, 2017.

In another attempt on his life, Gately survived being shot five times as he sat in his car at the then Topaz petrol station on the Clonshaugh Road in north Dublin on May 10, 2017.

In February of this year, Caolan Smyth (30) of Cuileann Court, Donore, Co Meath, was sentenced to 20 years at the Special Criminal Court for the attempted murder of Gately and for possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. Smyth had denied both charges.

Gary McAreavey (53) of Gort Nua, Station Road, Castlebellingham, Co Louth, had pleaded not (NOT) guilty to acting to impede an apprehension or prosecution by purchasing petrol and assisting in the burning out of the vehicle, a black Lexus, used in the attempted murder at Newrath, Dromiskin, Co Louth on the same day.

McAreavey received a four-year jail term with the final year suspended.

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