Feud target James ‘Mago’ Gately spent €440k renovating home while unemployed, CAB tell court
James Gately said in an affidavit he hasn’t been able to work since October 2015 because of “a credible threat to his life”
Kinahan Cartel target James ‘Mago’ Gately took a luxury cruise around South East Asia despite claiming he is too broke to pay for a legal defence against the Criminal Assets Bureau.
Gately, who survived being shot by a gangland hitman, and his partner Charlene Lam are looking for free legal aid to fight the case in the High Court.
The legal battle centres on their family home in Coolock, on which CAB said they spent €440,000 on renovations, and also two cars and a €4,400 ladies Rolex watch.
In a hearing today to establish whether the couple are entitled to free legal aid, counsel for CAB said they had enjoyed ‘eye- watering’ foreign travel.
They went on two cruises including one that started in Singapore in which they had a cabin complete with a balcony visiting Korea, Japan and China.
Objecting to the application counsel for CAB said should people “with means” be granted legal aid, it undermines the system.
Counsel for CAB also said the couple did not make any social welfare claims which implies they don’t need it and that such a fact should be “the first warning bell.”
James Gately said in an affidavit he hasn’t been able to work since October 2015 because of “a credible threat to his life” but the property cars and jewellery were all bought with legitimate income.
He said that he has had to rely on the support of his partner and family members, but had previously worked as a barber and ran a sweet shop.
He claims the €125,000 for the house bought in 2013 came from his savings which he also built up from working at a beauty company.
The mortgage was paid by him until October 2015 when his partner took over and argues the renovations at his home were carried out at a much lower price with work carried out by him and relatives.
In her affidavit Ms Lam provided details of her income from a beauty shop business and from her PAYE job and that she is “solely responsible” for the upkeep of the household since her partner’s inability to work because of the death threats.
Judge Alex Owen’s said he’d have to a read of all the affidavits and “come to a view” and might give his decision at the next hearing date.
Hutch associate Gately had been warned in 2016 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.
In May 2017, he survived being shot five times as he sat in his car at a Topaz petrol station on the Clonshaugh Road in north Dublin.
Four of the shots hit a bullet proof vest Gately was wearing while one struck him in the jaw.
He received treatment from an off-duty nurse at the scene and lived to tell the tale.
Caolan Smyth was sentenced to 20 years for the hit attempt in February of last year and shouted “five World Cups and I’ll be out” at his sentence hearing.
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