Marc My Words | 

Marcus Sweeney had to Google judge’s ‘up to his oxters’ in organised crime remark

“I actually didn’t know what the word ‘oxters’ meant so I had to Google it,” he said

Marcus Sweeney. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Neasa Cumiskey and Eamon DillonSunday World

Celtic Tiger socialite Marcus Sweeney has admitted he had to use Google after a judge described him as being “up to his oxters” in organised crime last month.

It was heard at the High Court how EWM Property Holdings, the firm founded by Sweeney, was involved in “highly dubious” investment schemes.

Brian Grendon, a convicted drug dealer and head of the criminal gang known as ‘The Family’, was one of its chief investors.

The CAB case centred on lands bought by the firm for €102,000 at Waynestown Co Meath which, it was contended, was bought with the proceeds of crime.

Half the cash came from another investment firm, which in turn came from unknown sources and another third from an innocent investor.

Sweeney had also admitted in a garda statement to deliberately falsifying lodgement dockets.

Marcus Sweeney

Ruling in favour of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), Mr Justice Alexander Owens said Sweeney, who did not appear in court, was “up to his oxters” in organised crime with cash lodgements being made to his firm from unknown sources.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Sweney admitted that the judge’s remark left him confused before adding that the case has been “a rollercoaster for everyone involved”.

“I actually didn’t know what the word ‘oxters’ meant so I had to Google it,” he said.

“I’m not contesting any of this because it’s draining me. I think CAB and I will settle in relation to Judge Owens’ decision and I think it’s been very much a roller coaster for everyone involved.

“I think the State has handled it really well and, no matter what, the State will deal with the truth. It’s not like I am hiding anything.

Marcus Sweeney

“I have been through a hell of a lot. I am punished in a righteous way, and I would advise anyone never to go through something like this because when you come out the other side you won’t be the same person.”

The court last month also heard that Sweeney had been seen by gardai at a meeting in Dublin in the company of two men who were later arrested in possession nearly €1 million worth of heroin.

UK drug dealer Kuldip Singh and Turkish heroin smuggler Ali Adnan Duran following the meeting after gardai raided their B&B room in Saggart, where they found heroin with a street value of almost €1m.

Sweeney was also arrested but was released without charge.

The former socialite denied knowing that the pair were involved in the heroin trade and said that the idea “scares the sh*t out of me”.

Marcus Sweeney

He also denied acting as a “go-between” who helped criminals with money laundering.

“Do you think they would let me act as a go-between? ‘Oh — hi, you have 650kg of heroin behind you. I am a socialite! I am high profile!’ Why the hell would they want me as a go-between? How the hell would you trust me with that information?” he told the Sunday Independent.

“I was sh*tting myself. Your life can turn upside down like that, and that was one of those moments.”

Speaking about his relationship with Brian Grendon, Sweeney said that the gang leader “believed in me and supported me” when he set up Evergreen Wealth Management Limited, which allegedly accepted €721,000 worth of cash lodgements from unknown sources between 2014 and 2020.

When asked if he knew if Grendon was alleged to be the head of The Family gang, Sweeney dodged the question and instead replied: “That name was only created in the last three years and that is when CAB has an interest, and they created a brand.”

When he was then quizzed about knowing if Grendon had links to the criminal underground at all, he said: “No, because why would I ask him? If he believes in me?

“I was the guy who was the playboy of the Celtic Tiger, who was the whatever else you want to call me. I am the failed entrepreneur.

“I am the worst. I am worse than what the media portray me as. I am the failed businessman. I am the guy who you don’t want to be around. I am.”

Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos